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Well, it took some work, but the December-January double issue of The Brooklyn Raill is finally here. It’s our biggest issue of the year, and our Books section is chock-full of literary goodies.

Critic David Winters reviews the début novel, “Bird,” by acclaimed short-story writer NOY HOLLAND. Poet and critic Tony Leuzzi offers an extraordinarily insightful review of TERESE SVOBODA’s “When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems.” Two of our reviewers consider new books in the context of genre: Darley Stewart discusses micro-fiction in her review of GRANT FAULKNER’s “Fissures: One Hundred 100-Word Stories.”

And novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and critic John Domini, in a bold, rigorous, and unflinching piece of literary criticism, ascribes the term “minimalist” to recent work from two New York writers: GREG GERKE’s début “My Brooklyn Writer Friend” and ROBERT LOPEZ’s newest story collection “Good People.”  J. T. Price works overtime delivering two reviews for this issue, covering ADRIENNE CELT’s “original (and) risk-taking” début novel “The Daughters,” as well as a new reprint of LUCY DAWSON’s “Dogs As I See Them.” Brendan Garrison covers “Speculation, Now: Essays and Artwork,” an anthology of essays by over fifty professionals, scholars, and artists, edited by Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao, Prem Krishnamurthy, and Carin Kuoni. Davy Knittle covers MICHAEL GIZZI’s “Collected Poems.” Jack Finnegan covers POPE FRANCIS’s “Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home.” Artie Niederhoffer reviews MARIE KONDO’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and KENYA HARA’s “Designing Design.” Ashley Phillips Taylor covers SARAH L. KAUFMAN’s “The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life.” Yvonne C. Garrett reviews ANAKANA SCHOFIELD’s second novel “Martin John.” Author David Winner discusses PATRICIA HIGHSMITH’s “The Price of Salt,” in the context of TODD HAYNE’s new film “Carol.” Christen Clifford reviews VIVIAN GORNICK’s new memoir “The Odd Woman and The City.” And Katie Rogin reviews JESSA CRISPIN’s “The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats & Ex-Countries.”

We’re excited to introduce a new feature for both readers and writers interested in knowing more about how authors do what they do on the page: a roundup of recent books on the craft of writing. Electric Literature’s Catherine LaSota covers five recent titles by MARY KARR, CHRISTOPHER CASTELLANI, PETER TURCHI, JOHN CASEY, and DINTY MOORE.

Our In Conversation series of artists talking to other artists continues with Robert Polito talking with JILL DEARMAN about her début novel “The Great Bravura.” Valya Dudycz Lupescu talks with Nebula-award nominee MATTHEW KRESSEL about “King of Shards,” the first installment of his Worldmender trilogy. (Along with Ellen Datlow, Kressel hosts the long-running KGB reading series Fantastic Fiction.) Melissa Febos talks to RYAN BERG about his début “No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, and Other Transgressions.” Lux Sommers talks with novelist AMY KOPPELMAN about “Hesitation Wounds,” Koppelman’s newest. Diego Gerard talks with PAUL CHAN about Sarah Ruden’s new translation of Plato’s “Hippias Minor or The Art of Cunning.” Michael Montlack talks with SORAYA SHALFOROOSH about her recent collection of poems “This Version of Earth,” from Barrow Street Press. And finally Rob Kenagy talks with MATTHEW VOLLMER about Vollmer’s newest story collection “Gateway to Paradise.”

Love to hear what you think.

Huge thanks to Katie RolnickLaila PedroSusan ShapiroNancy Hightower for all the help and support.