psychological

Symptomatic by Danzy Senna

“Every day in this new city I was trying to live in the purity of the present, free from context. Contexts, I knew, were dangerous: Once you put them into the picture, they took over.” As with her latest novel New People, Symptomatic presents its readers with a claustrophobic and disquieting narrative that becomes increasingly […]

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Quicksand by Nella Larsen

“As the days multiplied, her need of something, something vaguely familiar, but which she could not put a name to and hold for definite examination, became almost intolerable.” Similarly to Passing, Quicksand is a study of ambivalence. But whereas Passing centered on the complex dynamic—which ranges from enmity to a kinship of sorts—between two light-skinned […]

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A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion

“That summer when I so desperately tried to reel us all in, I didn’t understand the forces spinning us apart.” The opening of A Crooked Tree is certainly chilling. Libby, our fifteen-year old narrator, is in the car with her siblings. When their squabbling gets too much their mother dumps twelve-year old Ellen on the […]

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