"Writers of narrative nonfiction often appear as a character in their works. You’ve bucked this trend in Highway of Tears by appearing only in the introduction and the final chapters."
"I stand in front of store shelves containing tahini, peanut butter, almond butter, five brands of hazelnut-and-chocolate spread and I think, Am I crazy? Everything seems so normal."
"At ten minutes before noon in mid-August, the kilometer-long Morandi suspension bridge on the A10 highway west of Genoa split apart in a torrential rainstorm."
“'Are you spying on us?' The tall boy with curly dark hair is laughing even as he asks the question."
"Stefania Longheu stands up from the lifeguard’s chair and makes her way up the beach towards Calabasciu..."
"The first sentence I learned in German, before even thinking of moving to Berlin, was 'The wind is icy.'"
"The auction item drafted by Professor Fitzgibbons reads: Nizami. Khamsa. Persian manuscript, height 26.5 cm, width 17 cm, illustrated and illuminated."
“For a conflict journalist, the repercussions are too grave to take narrative liberties."
“In 1949, Szabó received one of Hungary’s highest literary honors, the Baumgarten prize, only to have it withdrawn that same day as she was declared an enemy of the new Communist state. Her books would be blocked from publication for the next seven years."
“Right from the title story/novella, "Thirteen Ways of Looking," with the stanzas of the Wallace Stevens poem as its chapter epigraphs, Colum McCann immerses the reader in a prose that acknowledges all the senses, yet best loves the sound of words."
“Schmitt’s marriages are often composed of intelligent homemaking women and their professorial husbands in university towns, but we are still a long way from Edward Albee."
"As the floodwaters rise and the crowd moves to the second-floor bar, Barry’s timing turns comic and his sentences shrink to single beats before expanding again..."
“Discussion of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series often breaks down into dichotomies: is it a new hybrid genre or self-centered blathering?"
“Marine Park is eleven avenues long (if you count generously) and seventeen short blocks wide, and Mark Chiusano is its storyteller..."
“Book One of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s much-discussed six-volume series, Min kamp (My Struggle), captures the pulse and tempo of being alive."
Ophelia John is a writer and editor. Currently, she is revising a novel about a WWII refugee who joins the Italian resistance.
She studied architecture at the University of Texas at Austin (MArch) and writing and editing at the Harvard Extension School and the University of British Columbia (MFA).