Gulf Coast Books

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Review of The Reef by Juan Villoro

Ray Barker

Understated and wrecked, Antonio “Tony” Gongora, the 53-year old narrator of Mexican writer Juan Villor’s recent novel, The Reef, is in a suspended state of recovery: recovering from the breakup of his semi-successful rock band, Los Extraditables (as…


someone was looking for me: A Review of Blunt Research Group’s The Work-Shy

Christian Bancroft

The Blunt Research Group descended upon the literary community in the summer of 2015, veiled with mystery, intrigue, and profundity. In their author bio, it states that they are “a nameless constellation of poets, artists, and scholars from diverse backgrounds.”…


Micro-Review: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back

Sarah Hoenicke

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s series of essays, Don’t Come Back, is an exploration of belonging and of the ways memory and imagination interact to create history. Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas reminds readers that we can still write creation narratives,…


Micro-Review: Hala Alyan’s HIJRA

Conor Bracken

Apocalyptic, unflinching, flinty yet lush, Hala Alyan’s HIJRA is a gathering of vivid lyrics on flight and exile. As the title suggests (hijra refers to the prophet Muhammed’s migration from Mecca to Medina while being pursued by ultimately unsuccessful…


On American War, Omar El Akkad’s Tale of the Second American Civil War

Sarah Hoenicke

Omar El Akkad’s fiction debut, American War (April, Knopf), envisions a second American Civil War, waged 2074 to 2093, again between South and North. The effects of global climate change have induced a mass-move inland as the coasts are lost to rising…


A Micro-Review of Tim Z. Hernandez's All They Will Call You

Matthew Krajniak

Tim Z. Hernandez’s first nonfiction work, All They Will Call You, is sharp and decidedly sobering. With this his sixth book, he investigates and reveals the stories of several of the twenty-eight Mexican deportees and four Americans who died in the worst…