Interrogating Whiteness: reading Austin Channing Brown’s “I’m Still Here”

By Sarah Hoenicke for Anomaly Michael Brown was killed just weeks before I began my junior year at a private college in Oakland, California. “Police brutality” wasn’t a phrase I’d considered within an American context. My parents homeschooled my eight siblings and me. Our access to TV, the internet, music, movies, and people outside our church’s … Continue reading Interrogating Whiteness: reading Austin Channing Brown’s “I’m Still Here”

A Time to Mourn

By Sarah Hoenicke for Anomaly This month, my plan was to write about two new books, both by white men with the first name John. I wouldn’t usually choose titles with such homogeneity. When I select books, it’s because I think they’ll add to who I am by exposing me to who I am not, and … Continue reading A Time to Mourn

A Gentle Visit

By Sarah Hoenicke for Anomaly “The visit was a liniment,” writes poet Alberto Ríos in “Coffee in the Afternoon.” A balm for the nerves of two people living in the world, A balm in the tenor of its language, which spoke through our hands In the small lifting of our cups and our cakes to our … Continue reading A Gentle Visit

An American Weakness

By Sarah Hoenicke for Anomaly In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Julia Fierro writes: “Weakness or, to be more specific, showing or admitting to weakness, seemed both un-Italian and un-American.” Fierro is writing here about the impact of Zoloft on her life, and more specifically, her writing career. Before Zoloft, her anxiety and … Continue reading An American Weakness

Micro-Review: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back

By Sarah Hoenicke for Gulf Coast Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s series of essays, Don’t Come Back, is an exploration of belonging and of the ways memory and imagination interact to create history. Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas reminds readers that we can still write creation narratives, as she does in four of the essays. There are still stories untold, and original … Continue reading Micro-Review: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back

The Many Homelands of the Mind

By Sarah Hoenicke for the Punch Two literary journals, in their recent issues, put together interesting perspectives on home and belonging Home. Homestead. Homemade. Homegrown. Homeland. Homesick. At home. To home in on—clearly, the concept of home invades much of our thinking, and so, too, our language. Home signifies interior; to be away from it, … Continue reading The Many Homelands of the Mind

On American War, Omar El Akkad’s Tale of the Second American Civil War

By Sarah Hoenicke for Gulf Coast Omar El Akkad’s fiction debut, American War (April, Knopf), envisions a second American Civil War, waged 2074 to 2093, again between South and North. The effects of global climate change have induced a mass-move inland as the coasts are lost to rising seas and frequent, massively destructive storms. The Southerners … Continue reading On American War, Omar El Akkad’s Tale of the Second American Civil War

Jami Attenberg: Listening to Write

By Sarah Hoenicke for Guernica Photo by Zack Smith Photography. You think, because she’s so funny, so sharp, so sarcastic and constantly moving, that Jami Attenberg can’t make you sad. But she can floor you. Fiction like Attenberg’s—entertaining, witty, a swirl of happiness, hope, and disaster—is an escape from daily reality and worry. It’s also a … Continue reading Jami Attenberg: Listening to Write

Theoretically Personal

By Sarah Hoenicke for BOMB Resisting confession in Yiyun Li’s Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life “For years I have had the belief that all my questions will be answered by the books I am reading,” Yiyun Li writes in her latest effort, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to … Continue reading Theoretically Personal

In Conversation with Daniel Lowe

Sarah Hoenicke talks to the author of All That’s Left to Tell, Daniel Lowe, for Wales Arts Review We know that stories have lives of their own, independent of their tellers. They wind and shape themselves differently in hearers’ minds, and then come out slightly transformed in retellings. In Daniel Lowe’s fiction debut, All That’s Left … Continue reading In Conversation with Daniel Lowe

The joys of a novel: Jade Chang interviewed by Sarah Hoenicke

By Sarah Hoenicke for the Columbia Journal “Sometimes just living your life in a way that is completely unapologetic is a rebellion.” Jade Chang’s debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, is an extraordinarily balanced first book.  Often, debuts lack perfect continuity—containing lapses into portions of the story that the author needed to know, but … Continue reading The joys of a novel: Jade Chang interviewed by Sarah Hoenicke

Anuk Arudpragasam: Within the Bounds of the Body

Anuk Arudpragasam’s debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, takes place over a single day near the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. The novel’s protagonist, Dinesh, has been pushed, with fellow beleaguered citizens, to the coast. When we meet him, he is living in a camp, helping tend to the wounded and bury the dead, his existence overwhelmed by the needs of those around him.

Book Review: The Expense of a View by Polly Buckingham

By Sarah Hoenicke for the Masters Review Our current political conversation often revolves around the financial disparities rampant in American culture. Polly Buckingham’s recent story collection, The Expense of a View, hones in on the lives most impacted by the inequalities this gaping imbalance engenders. Buckingham tells the stories of the system’s most vulnerable—the ill, the … Continue reading Book Review: The Expense of a View by Polly Buckingham

When the Hurlyburly’s Done: Roy Scranton’s “War Porn”

By Sarah Hoenicke, for the Los Angeles Review of Books WAR PORN, Roy Scranton’s fiction debut, is not a comfortable book. Scranton’s experimental and interesting prose is meant to disturb the entrenched thought patterns of his readers. He defies the American cultural tenet that our military is lawful, moral, and organized, depicting it instead as it … Continue reading When the Hurlyburly’s Done: Roy Scranton’s “War Porn”