Laura Farmer

Critic

USA

In addition to writing weekly book reviews for The Gazette, Farmer has also reviewed books for a number of other publications, including The Kenyon Review Online and Dossier.com. Her reviews are regularly quoted in promotional materials, and she has given workshops on review writing and the importance of international literature. A graduate of the Syracuse MFA program in Creative Writing, Farmer is Writing Studio Director and Director of Fellowships and Scholarships at Cornell College and makes her home with her family in Iowa.

Freshwater

Date: 13 Feb 2018 Category: Books
8.0 Rating
“How do you survive when they place a god inside your body?” This is the question at the heart of Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel, “Freshwater,” out next month from Grove Atlantic. Emezi has established herself as young writer to watch with an engrossing tale of identity, mental illness and spirituality. Set in Nigeria, the United States and the spirit world, “Freshwater” is the story of Ada, a Nigerian girl who was born ogbanje: Whe ...

Dance of the Jakaranda

Date: 07 Feb 2017 Category: Books
8.0 Rating
Most great novels center around an engaging narrative that works on one, maybe two levels. But in a true master work, on par with say Shakespeare or Marquez, the narrative works on multiple levels: emotional, political, familial, spiritual. If executed — and executed well — the resulting work will last generations and resonate with readers across the globe. A tall order to be sure. But author Peter Kimani does just that in his American deb ...

Taduno’s Song

Date: 04 Aug 2016 Category: Books
8.0 Rating
‘Taduno’s Song,” the debut novel out this month by Nigerian author Odafe Atogun, begins with a startling idea: what if you could start a revolution with music? Musical superstar Taduno did just that and was forced into exile for writing songs against the Nigerian government. But when he learns his girlfriend, Lela, has been kidnapped, he returns to Nigeria once again; this time, though, he’ll write a hit song in support of the regime to s ...