Book Review: ‘Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology From Middle America’

The mythology of “the Heartland” (also called “Middle America” or the “flyover states”) is usually rooted in archaic abstractions such as “traditional family values” and conservative ideals. These parts of the American landscape are described as if they are closed off by narrow boundaries, with rigid attitudes imposed upon the diverse populations inhabiting them. As […]

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Book Review: ‘Cleanness’ by Garth Greenwell

Cleanness, the second book by Garth Greenwell (released Jan. 14, 2020), is exemplary. It provides rare rewards to its readers beyond the scope dared by many authors of contemporary literature. It demands much of the reader — not due to its difficulty, but in the unrelenting rigor of the narrator who patiently preserves the paradoxes of everyday […]

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Iowa City author Garth Greenwell hopes to break the ice for queer writers working in Bulgaria

Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell’s debut novel, What Belongs to You, begins when an American high school teacher meets a young prostitute named Mitko in the bathroom basement of Bulgaria’s National Palace of Culture. The book that unspools their relationship is already poised to be one of the best of the year. It takes us through Sofia, Kentucky and a complex web of memory that makes us consider the ways all of our relationships are shaped by need and longing, both emotional and material. That longing is woven into our narrator’s very fiber and the complex country that surrounds him and the charismatic, complicated Mitko. […]

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