Envy Archive

Omar Musa 2014 Here Come the Dogs (Penguin)

Dreamy Jimmy keeps pace with a rescued greyhound, becomes the ‘lithe body of a river’, enters the ‘golden lights’ of a grotto, raps out his life with Run DMC (285). The wisdom of Gabe. People can change if ‘life lets them’ (267).

Rosi Braidotti 2013 The Posthuman (Polity Press)

Humans getting over themselves, entering the flow that was always-already there. Wandering and wondering with all the other nomads. Forget human norms, all that ‘normality, normalcy, and normativity’ (26). Death embraced for its ‘radical immanence’ (136). Time now for ‘transformative becoming’ (165).

Dominique Hecq 2017 Hush: A Fugue (UWAP)

Precise muscled writing, a tearing arc of pain that gathers in my own. Emotion, perfectly wrought. This symphony of long-held grief for the departure of loved ones is a reminder, jagged as a hacksaw, that those embedded in my heart never leave.

Angie Thomas 2017 The Hate U Give (HarperCollins)

Righteous anger tearing up the e-page. Teenage heroics on top of surviving. Respect. This is fiction, a Mississippi girl telling a New York story, but it reads truer than the news. Hardcopy ordered for a mid-teen change agent close to my heart.  

Kate Jennings 2002 Moral Hazard (Text, 2012)

Loving this until a student reminds me there are better ways of dealing with a loved one’s brain-shift into a different person. Not repayments, re-shaping love. The other students feel her pain, we all say amen. Again, I learn more than teach.

Rebecca Skloot 2010 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown)

Got me wondering. I mean, who owns what part of this story? That scholarship fund best be getting the proceeds or I’ve been consuming ill-gotten gains. Oh, those cells you’ve donated or had tested? No longer yours. You too could be immortal.  

Elizabeth Gaskell 1855 North and South (Oxford World Classics)

More questions than answers. What’s a ‘fern-harvest’? Are wasps ‘impudent’ or privileged? Does kneeling together really do ‘no harm’? How to wear ‘pomegranate flowers’? And when (at last) might we listen alertly to speeches on ‘capital and labour and labour and capital’?

Claire-Louise Bennett 2015 Pond (Picador)

Nails, like me/us, sullied with scrabbling from those ‘dank and wretched’ (17) ditches that life creates. The expressiveness of jam stains, soaring shifts in syntax. I am the protagonist’s friend, I  put my loving hand on this book, declare myself ‘ensorcelled’ (151).

Dinesh Wadiwel 2015 The War Against Animals (Brill)

Political grace, comprehensively argued, to the songbook of Derrida, Foucault and Girard. Harmony with Adams, descant with Haraway. Depicts nonhuman resistance in prose that weeps. Inspired call for a move beyond sacrificial eating. A day of truce from killability, following Andrea Dworkin. Pecking (new) order

Joy Williams 2016 Ninety-Nine Stories of God (Tin House Books)

99 titles a poem. 99 short furious flashes of fiction. Truths. 49. “One should not define God in human language” but rather descend “ever deeper into the darkness of unknowing.” Then 73’s divine that stays away from the lonely world of humans.