Book Reviews – Michigan Quarterly Review

Book Reviews

The cover of Jennifer Metsker's "Hypergraphia and Other Failed Attempts at Paradise" set over a red-orange background.

Language Plays God: A review of Hypergraphia and Other Failed Attempts at Paradise by Jennifer Metsker

In Hypergraphia and Other Failed Attempts at Paradise, Jennifer Metsker gives us over to a mind that makes and unmakes the world. Metsker’s speaker revels in sensory experience even as she troubles the notion that one’s senses are a pathway to truth. While the speaker leads us through a vivid landscape of dead pets and …

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The book covers of "If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English" and "A Film in Which I Play Everyone", and the film poster of "Barbie" set against a yellow-pink background

On Perspective: Mary Jo Bang’s A Film in Which I Play Everyone, the Barbie movie, & Noor Naga’s If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English

Vanishing point: the point or points in a work of art at which imaginary sight lines appear to converge, suggesting depth Q: Who is the speaker?  A: The poet? Me? You? Us? The title of Mary Jo Bang’s new book (Graywolf, 2023) is a David Bowie quote, but I keep thinking of the Velvet Underground …

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The cover of Boris Dralyuk's "My Hollywood and Other Poems" set over a blue-green background.

In with the Old: Boris Dralyuk’s My Hollywood and Other Poems

As in the Hollywood of the last century, Boris Dralyuk’s debut collection features bankrupt dive bars, washed-up starlets (“Nothing was ever / quite the same. // Every one came / to be another”), the odd fruit stall, balding palm trees, and Igor Stravinsky. Dralyuk is the former editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, …

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The cover of Tori Amos Bootleg Webring set against a bright pink-purple background.

Where the Music Plays: On “Tori Amos Bootleg Webring” by Megan Milks and Locating Queer and Trans Identity in Online Fandom’s Archives

Megan Milks traces the origins of their queer and trans identity in a coming of age memoir about trading Tori Amos bootlegs at the dawn of the internet age. Anyone who logged onto the internet in the mid-nineties, whether through AOL or a service like CompuServe or Prodigy, engaged in the practice of authoring oneself. …

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Book cover over an abstract dark greenish background

A Loud Grief: A Review of Onyi Nwabineli’s Someday, Maybe

“Death in general elicits questions, the most invasive of which is how?” writes Onyi Nwabineli in Someday, Maybe. Eve Ezenwa-Morrow, the novel’s protagonist, has lost her husband, Quentin Morrow, to suicide. After his death on an undated New Year’s Eve, she is so pinioned by the resulting grief that a new persona emerges: an “Eve …

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