on This Number Does Not Exist, poems by Mangalesh Dabral (BOA Editions)

In October 2015, Hindi poet Mangalesh Dabral was awarded the Sahitya Akademi prize by India’s National Academy of Letters. He turned down the award and its cash prize in protest over the death of the scholar M.M. Kalburgi, a progressive voice among a caste group called the Lingayat. Dabral was objecting to a wave of intolerance and increasing violence against minorities and dissenters.

on Angel of Oblivion, an autofiction by Maja Haderlap, tr. by Tess Lewis (Archipelago Books)

Born in 1961 in Eisenkappel, Austria, Maja Haderlap worked for twenty years as a dramaturg, university lecturer, and cultural critic. In the 1980’s, her three books of poems drew attention for their unique lyricism and perspective on the experiences of Slovenian Austrians.

on How To Set a Fire and Why, a novel by Jesse Ball (Pantheon)

Jesse Ball’s novels clarify their unconventional premises and intentions according to their own natures. As a genre-shuffler, Ball draws you in through mastery of voice and context – strangely valid accounts of strangely familiar worlds. His processes demand as much recognition as his plots; his characters collude in gratifying the demand.

on Invisible Man: Ralph Ellison and Gordon Parks in Harlem, edited by Michal Raz-Russo (Steidl/Art Institute of Chicago)

In 1947, Ralph Ellison had been working on his novel Invisible Man for two years when he was approached by an editor at The Magazine of the Year to write a feature on the new Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic in Harlem. Lafargue offered psychiatric services to blacks and whites, the only institution in New York to do so.

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