Cover art for the The Seas, which depicts an illustration of a crying mermaid.


The Seas: An Experience in Madness

BY Shilo Niziolek

The continual undercurrent of her inability to see properly, the sense that she believes it is love that is clouding her vision, brings me to understand more clearly the dissonance of the narration, that I only see what she can see, and what she sees is distorted by her own mental unstableness and by the reality which I know: that love and grief cloud my vision, that when I am swimming and open my eyes, my sight is blurry. What I think I see may be altogether different than what actually exists.


“Elation and Hollowed-Out Sorrow”: On K.L. Cook’s Marrying Kind

BY Michelle Donahue

The collection’s novelistic complexity stems primarily from its constant depictions of events, characters, themes, and obsessions from multiple angles. We savor repeated glimpses of characters like Laura, a small-town girl from the Texas Panhandle, or Hartley, a history professor turned dean. We witness these characters’ promising beginnings and violent, unfinished ends: wedding days and honeymoons, heart attacks and domestic violence.

The book cover of Trick Mirror (solid yellow with pink text) overlays an image fractured by many reflecions.


The Scamming of the Self: On Jia Tolentino’s “Trick Mirror”

BY Natalie Brown

Tolentino turns each topic around like a Rubik’s Cube, looking at it from every side, rearranging possibilities but never quite solving the puzzle. That there is no ultimate solution isn’t a defect of these essays. The inherent ouroboros of logic at work here enhances rather than detracts from the structure and power of Tolentino’s ideas; there may be no satisfactory solutions, but that shouldn’t stop us from contemplating the problems.