Have Words–Will Write 'Em

On Books, Writers, Most Things Written, Including My Light Verse.

Archive for September, 2021

T.C. Boyle’s Latest “Talk To Me,” Communicating With Apes

without comments

Sam [the chimp] doesn’t verbalize, but he communicates in sign language like the primates of those decades-old experiments did. Boyle gives Sam his own chapters that exuberantly brachiate throughout the novel like a chimp swinging from tree to tree. It might seem peculiar to write a story partly told from the viewpoint of a chimp, but stories about anthropomorphized animals have crawled, flown, and swum around fictional worlds for centuries. Aesop wrote fables about tortoises, foxes, and crows. George Orwell satirized society with talking pigs and ravens in Animal Farm. More recently, Jane Smiley’s horse, dog, and birds each have tails to talk about in her Perestroika in Paris.

You can read my review of T.C. Boyle’s Talk To Me in The Boston Globe by clicking the image below.

You can buy T.C. Boyle’s Talk To Me, at Barnes & Noble.

Written by Joe Peschel

September 10th, 2021 at 2:18 pm

“Matrix,” by Lauren Groff

without comments

Lauren Groff’s latest novel Matrix is a lyrical blend of historical fiction and myth-making that takes place in a nunnery during the mid-12th and early 13th centuries, the time of the Crusades. The novel gives Groff the opportunity to celebrate and hypothesize about the life of her “beloved Marie de France,” an actual medieval writer who was France’s first female poet.

You can read my review of Lauren Groff’s Matrix in The Brooklyn Rail by clicking the image below.


You can buy Lauren Groff’s Matrix at Barnes & Noble.

Written by Joe Peschel

September 1st, 2021 at 9:04 pm