Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
The Review Lab at Columbia College Chicago
Print this PageEmail this Page

DriftingDrifting2-509x800-1

By Katia D. Ulysse

[Akashic Books Publishing, 2014. 254 Pages. Paperback. $11.96]

Reviewed by Giovanni Perry

Four families united by numerous threads that stretch across time and space alike drives Katia D. Ulysses’ debut novel, Drifting, offering an intimate glimpse into the modern Haitian community unlike ever before. This poignant account of what it means to embrace one’s heritage while also battling the obstacles that very heritage presents is both moving in the way Ulysse depicts the country’s simplistic lifestyle and, at times, disquieting in regards to the frank candidness with which the characters express themselves. After a recent migration to the U.S., a father bemoans his children’s newfound independence. “They’re expensive as hell to keep. And they have rights! In Haiti you can erase them like mistakes on a sheet of paper…You could take a kid to the countryside and leave him there like a bag of old clothes. Who would care?” There is a realness to Ulysse’s style that remains consistent throughout the varying narrations, making this story as relatable as it is engrossing.

(more…)

Posted on Sep 9, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , 0 Comments

 By Giovanni Perry

fb61d648f43391bd5e1bf043b992ef2f.wix_mpClassification: Books that make you look at humanity. Innocence in separation, and indifference to the things most people are allured by.

According to novelist Ayn Rand, “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.” What happens when you look up one day and realize that you no longer fit into society? What if you suddenly realize that the cog that once kept your world turning the right way has ceased to move—or rather, has begun to move in a completely different direction, going against the big machine of social order? These thoughts are what jolt me and thrust me into that creative space that I love to inhabit as a writer, taking a step back and observing human nature like the ghost stuck in the corner of your mirror, seeing you for what you really are, or perhaps like the loner slouching at the top of the bleachers, privy in his veil of shadow to all conversation persisting below. These stories are of main characters who feel a distinct detachment to the people and culture around them, but are no less incredible because of it.

(more…)

Posted on Aug 8, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Syllabi Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Beach-Reading-8x10sm

by Colin Page

Hello, Readers,

We’re focusing on some other projects right now, so with a bit of bittersweetness, we’re taking a break. Until late August. Don’t get too burnt this summer. And happy reading!

Love,

The Review Lab

 

Posted on Jun 6, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Uncategorized 0 Comments

ImageGenTop of the morning. We’ve got some juicy tidbits just for you this week.

Appetizer:

Eduora Welty’s application to The New Yorker. She was then just twenty-three and starving for work. It’s very charming, and it was ignored. Tsk.

Chicagoans! And those in the greater Chicago area. Here’s a live lit roundup from Chicago Literati.

Since The Publishing Lab has joined the Twitter-sphere, here are ten authors who have fantastic tweets. Or tweet fantastic tweets? We’re not sure.

(more…)

Posted on May 5, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Palate Cleansers 0 Comments

Chillin' like a villain.

Chillin’ like a villain.

We hope you didn’t think we’d go soft on you. Having a nice, relaxing end of your May? Put down the tabloids and shut down Yahoo. Here’s what’s important in literary news.

Haven’t seen our awesome reviews yet? Click here, here, and here.

Appetizer:

The ever effervescent Emma Straub with ten books you can read if you’re not traveling for vacation this summer.

For all you Tolkien fans out there, the regarded author’s translation of Beowulf can be pre-ordered now.

Are you honest with your e-mail fonts? Don’t use Comic Sans, ever, please. Be professional.

(more…)

Posted on May 5, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Palate Cleansers 0 Comments

A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the Worldjpeg
Rachel Cantor

[Melville House, 2014. 256 pages. Paperback. $13.55]

Reviewed by Corey E. Klinzing

In a world controlled by fast food companies, Leonard is a Listener (which is future-talk for Customer Service Representative) for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean Pizza place. As a Listener, Leonard’s job is to sit in his in-home White Room, which is designed for maximum empathy, and to elevate the pain any customers calling in might feel, all with the liberal usage of Neetsa Pizza coupons. Future restaurants not only shuck fast food, but they have a central ideology tied to that food. Jac-o-bites, the Scottish Tapas place that believes in the divine right of kings, the Dada Dinner Diner which failed because they didn’t actually have a menu, and so on. Rivalries are high, and it only takes a small push from anarchist forces for these rivalries to turn into a battle royal with cheese. (more…)

Posted on May 5, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Reviews 1 Comment

Nine Rabbits9rabcover_grande

by Virginia Zaharieva

[Black Balloon Publishing, 2014.  183 pages. Paperback. $14.00]

Reviewed by Alyssa McGrail

In Virginia Zaharieva’s debut novel Nine Rabbits we find ourselves in 1960’s Bulgaria, following the life of six-year-old Manda into adulthood. A girl who starts her life in pieces, Manda discovers as she grows, she has to tackle what has happened to her in order to move on with her life. The story (although it is fiction) reads like a memoir. Manda’s distant first-person narration and the vivid description of Bulgarian culture, mirrors Zaharieva’s personal experience growing up in Bulgaria. (more…)

Posted on May 5, 2014

Post by reviewlab

Categories: Reviews 1 Comment

Next Page »