New on PopMatters today: my dual review of Pieces for the Left Hand and Castle by J. Robert Lennon, out simultaneously from Graywolf.
A side note: I also recently read an earlier novel of Lennon’s called The Funnies, which I’d thoroughly recommend. It’s a bittersweet family comedy about a young artist coming to terms with the fact that his true talent isn’t for avant-garde sculpture, but instead for following his father’s trade in the daily comic strip business. When his father dies, he inherits his strip—which bears an unmistakable resemblance to The Family Circus—on the condition that he demonstrate to the people of the syndicate that he’s capable of handling it. This proves to be a much more difficult task than the protagonist expects, and Lennon treats his struggles with empathy, humor, and a fascinating attention to detail about the art of drawing and writing for the funny pages. I think it’s Lennon’s best novel, and it’s well worth seeking out.