"Most people I know live their lives moving in a constant forward direction, the whole time looking backward." In this book, a time travel machine technician goes between universes saving people from (ab)using time travel in their efforts to fix their disappointing lives. When he's not doing that, he's searching for his missing father, who disappeared after inventing time travel. Within this strange and mind-bending plot, Yu addresses some of life's most philosophical questions. Is time a forward trajectory? Do regret and nostalgia serve us? How do we reconcile with the ache of a parent's lost dream? This book is an unconventional but beautiful tribute from a son to his father, and calls on us to reimagine the way we think about time.
A story about sisters, connection, love, reconciling the past and facing the future. It hit every note for me.
As children, it is so difficult to understand the decisions our parents make, or how they love us. Koh’s rediscovery and subsequent translation of her mother’s letters is the rediscovery of a mother’s love. The interspersed memories provide a hard-hitting perspective, but it is balanced by such lyrical delivery.
This beautifully crafted, inter-generational story follows two childhood friends during their final year of high school in a small Mojave desert town. I was instantly drawn into the lives of Salahudin and Noor as they navigate grief, the unpredictability of their parental figures, racism, isolating secrets and fears. Told in alternating perspectives, you cannot help but rage against all the obstacles they face. Sabaa Tahir tells their story so eloquently, you will not be able to put it down and it will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.
To the chagrin of plenty, when people ask me about Miriam Toews (and when they don't), I often say her name in the same breath as "greatest novelist writing in English today" and "the best writer on grief and loss living on this continent," superlatives that surely test my credibility and raise eyebrows, but I stand by them. So help me. It's easy for me to articulate what makes Toews so compelling: her acidic humor, her total inability to play by the rules, always one eye on the specter of death. Rivaling some of Toews's best novels (All My Puny Sorrows, Women Talking, A Complicated Kindness, to name a few), FIGHT NIGHT is the most invigorating work of art in Toews's oeuvre thus far. Come for Toews's unparalleled knack for writing sour grandmothers; stay for Swiv, the precocious child narrator who says things like this: "I don't know why saying bowel movement and stool is better than vag and piehole. It doesn't matter what words you use in life, it's not gonna prevent you from suffering."
A stunning exploration of loss and grief. 100% on my top books of 2021!
Powerful, honest, and sharp. Ford tells her story on her terms, refusing to compromise or shy away from how the absence of her incarcerated father and tense relationship with her mother defined her formative years. Her work is a gift that allows us to glimpse her fraught journey through hardship and loss towards love and self-acceptance. Simply beautiful.
If "every story is the sound of a storyteller begging to stay alive..." as Daniel says, then he and his family deserve to live forever--purely off the crackling energy of these tales and the way they will echo in your mind long after the words have been read. Part musings on truth and memory, part memoir of a young immigrant trying to find his place in midwest America, this book will captivate and resonate with a wide variety of readers.
To anyone who has ever wondered about their history, struggled to understand their family, or been a victim of bureaucracy; to the children of strong mothers, the parents of observant children, and the family members of angry adults that should know better; to lovers of poetry and folklore and far off places; to anyone (so everyone!) with flaws--you will find a kindred spirit here.
Told in sparse paragraphs but with full language, like only the best bits you underline in a book. Woodson weaves together the many stories of a multi-generational black family as, across time, everyone navigates their own relationship with identity, gentrification, parenthood, class, and that red-to-the-bone feeling that comes with love.
Trethewey comes at writing a memoir like the poet that she is. Her words will break your heart almost as much as her story does, told from a daughter's perspective of her mother suffering through domestic violence. She really shows the thin line between love and hate, passion and anger, especially in the bone-chilling recorded phone calls between her mother and ex-husband. Through her efforts to learn more about the woman she lost when she was 19, Trethewey will take your breath away.