Drive Me Out of My Mind, by Chad Faries

These days memoirs are a dime a dozen, glutting the market with tales of the self-absorbed.  Fortunately, Chad Faries stands out in this crowded field with his unique tale of childhood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Drive Me Out of My Mind: 24 Houses in 10 Years, a Memoir, follows Chad’s childhood from roughly 1971 to 1980.  Chad’s singularly strange upbringing and poetic sensibility create a memoir unlike any other.  Most memoirs focus on bourgeois nuclear families and the travails of growing up middle-class in the suburbs.  In childhood, Chad discerned the differences of his family and “families on TV.” Chad’s … Continue reading Drive Me Out of My Mind, by Chad Faries

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New name, same blog

What’s all this then?  As they say in boardrooms across this fair land of ours, it’s “time to take things to the next level.”  The Driftless Area Review now has a more memorable web address: https://driftlessareareview.com/ It’s easy to remember, you have less to type, and should help with Google searches.  If you’re a publisher or author, my contact information remain the same.  Make sure to update your bookmarks.     Continue reading New name, same blog

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Bones Beneath Our Feet by Michael Schein

Subtitled “A Historical Novel of Puget Sound,” Michael Schein’s Bones Beneath Our Feet tells us the story of two men, Isaac Stevens, Mexican-American War veteran and first governor of Washington Territory, and Leschi, Chief of the Nisqually tribe.  Published by Bennett & Hastings, a Seattle-based independent publisher, the novel, at first glance, appears like yet another retelling of a White Man-vs.-Native American conflict told with the subtlety of an afternoon special.  “Remember kids, the white man is a pure embodiment of evil while the Native Americans are innocent, Nature-loving gentlefolk.”  This is the simplistic moralizing found in everything from Dances … Continue reading Bones Beneath Our Feet by Michael Schein

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Hav by Jan Morris

Hav by the Welsh travel writer Jan Morris is a very Borgesian work, bringing to mind the Argentinean writer’s love for mirrors and labyrinths.  There is even a character named Dr. Borge and Hav’s major cultural motif is the labyrinth.  Morris achieves distinction in creating a place that goes beyond being a second-rate pastiche of Borges themes.  Unfortunately, the field of science fiction is riddled with examples of good ideas soured when executed.  Poor execution usually involves sloppy writing where the author received payment by the word. New York Review Books has released a stellar volume with Jan Morris’s Hav.  … Continue reading Hav by Jan Morris

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