This year’s original reviews provide unique insight into the literary world through a distinctly progressive lens, including two National Arts & Entertainment Journalism award-winning pieces by Truthdig contributor Allen Barra and Foreign Editor Natasha Hakimi Zapata. Read the full reviews by clicking on the hyperlinked titles below. 

The Trickster King and the Erudite Literalist By ALLEN BARRA

Approaching Vladimir Nabokov’s 120th birthday, Truthdig looks at his friendship and falling-out with another literary giant, Edmund Wilson.

When the Voiceless Speak By ALEXIS CAMINS

Filipino American author Alex Tizon spent his life raising up the lives of those rendered invisible by society.

Putting Trump to Shame Without Ever Saying His Name By NATASHA HAKIMI ZAPATA

Written after the 45th president was inaugurated, Terrance Hayes’ sonnets have an urgency that will leave readers’ heads spinning.

The Future of Meat By CARYN HARTGLASS

As people become aware of the effects of eating animals on climate change and human health, a new book asks whether we will see an end to it.

Reclaiming Difference By PAUL VON BLUM

A new anthology shines light on differently abled artists, including Sandie Yi, born with two digits on each hand and foot, whose art forces viewers to reconsider beauty.

Country, Smoothed Over By TIM RILEY

Ken Burns’ documentary “Country Music” and its book tie-in present country music with a naive affection that misses key American tensions.


A new book argues weakly for the influence of Ayn Rand on our culture—after all, the dominant classes in America were greedy and selfish from the get-go.

The Madness Driving Climate Catastrophe By H. PATRICIA HYNES

A new book examines how corporate capitalism, through fossil fuel-based technology, has led the world to the point of destruction.

‘Civilizing’ Perpetual Foreigners By ELAINE MARGOLIN

In a time rife with anti-immigrant invective, Truthdig reviews a book that explores a historic episode involving missionaries and migrant Chinese women.

Need more recommendations? Check out all of Truthdig’s book reviews here.

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