Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is an Independent Art Advisor who builds corporate and private art collections across America. He is also a freelance curator, mainly in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Kansas City, specializing in contemporary art (approximately 350 shows curated). He is a widely published art critic, currently writing regularly for The Artist's Magazine, and has written catalogs, essays, art reviews and art journalism since 1973. He has collected contemporary art since 1968, and is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Art. Daniel Brown assumed the role of editor of ÆQAI in July of 2010.

Summer Issue of Aeqai Online

Aeqai’s one combined summer issue, July/August, has just posted, and we think it gives an exceptional overview of the visual arts throughout our region, including both Dayton and Lexington. And with the 2016 FotoFocus biennial just around the corner, we’re including some extra reviews and articles about photography in this issue, as a kind of [...]


Mischa Berlinski’s “Peacekeeping”

Spring and summer of 2016 have brought us some of the best new fiction in ages, particularly and unusually during the summer season best known for steamy beach reading and lifestyle novels.  Younger writers from around the world are flocking to the novel, and/or short fiction, with great success, and we don’t even have to [...]


Jo Baker’s “A Country Road, A Tree”

With the loss of the great English novelist Anita Brookner, we are most fortunate to find a near equivalent in the quality of her writing and the penetration of her analyses in Jo Baker, whose very recently published A Country Road, A Tree is one of 2016′s best offerings in fiction.  I first read Baker’s [...]


Stephanie Danler’s “Sweetbitter”

Stephanie Danler’s debut novel, Sweetbitter, is one of the summer season’s great hits, and it richly deserves all the praise it’s been garnering.  Danler’s narrator/protagonist, Tess, is one of thousands of small town/provincial seekers of a more urbane, fast-paced life (two of whom, historically, included Andy Warhol and Halston) in New York. Determined to shed [...]


Adam Haslett’s “Imagine Me Gone”

Mental illness is one of the most difficult topics to make into fiction, I think, so that Adam Haslett’s new novel, Imagine Me Gone, is that much more exceptional in its complete success in tackling this issue in the first place, and making its ravages on one family intense, realistic, and all-encompassing.  Since the novel [...]


Lauren Belfer’s “And After The Fire”

Lauren Belfer’s new novel, “And After The Fire”, joins Sunjeev Sahota’s “The Year of the Runaways”, Jo Baker’s “A Country Road, A Tree”, and Kelly Kerney’s “Hard Red Spring” as one of the four best novels published to date in 2016. It’s part fiction, part real history; I used to be annoyed by books with [...]


June Issue of Aeqai Online

The June issue of aeqai has just posted, and we think it’s another outstanding issue. We begin with Zack Hatfield’s brilliant analysis of the work of Tomas Saraceno, which look like kites, and are called “Solar Bell”, installed hanging in the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. Hackfield’s analysis includes how the work interacts with the late [...]


Pride and Prejudice

Multi-talented and sophisticated, Cincinnati artist Ellie Fabe (a singer-songwriter, too, who most recently sang both at The Taft Museum of Art and at Southgate House), has put her formidable abilities in a new direction: she’s reinterpreted Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice through her own artwork, and the results are charming, astute, brilliant. The idea itself [...]


Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs

A spate of new novels examining various aspects of the human face behind terrorist bombings have hit the bookstores, and they are not only timely and topical, but fascinating. They seem, of course, even more of the moment with the Orlando massacre still raw and fresh in our minds.  Fiction, in its magical ways, has [...]


Jonathan Lee’s High Dive

The beautifully crafted and oddly sympathetic High Dive, by Jonathan Lee, is another novel dealing with the lives of terrorists, and of those about to be terrorized, based upon a true story that happened in l984 in Brighton, England.  A cell of IRA terrorists plots to bomb The Grand Hotel, where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher [...]


May Issue of Aeqai Online

The May issue of Aeqai has just posted, and it’s another very large issue, filled with reviews, profiles/interviews, tributes to arts leaders, and our small literary section. We begin with Karen Chambers’ admirable review of the exhibtion “Unraveled” , at The Contemporary Arts Center, guest curated by Kate Bonansinga, Director of the School of Art at UC/DAAP. [...]


Tribute to Alice Weston

Both artist and patron Alice Weston, and dealer/art guru Carl Solway were rightly honored this month, Weston at a celebration of the twentieth anniversary of The Weston Gallery in The Aronoff Center downtown, which she and her late husband Harris initially funded, and thus are responsible for that superb gallery’s virtual existence, and Solway at [...]


Tribute to Carl Solway

I have a very special fondness for the Solways, because my relationship with that family predates my meeting Carl himself and buying art from him, which began in 1970.  My sister’s best friend throughout high school and long beyond was Tammy Solway, Carl’s half sister, and my own family and Tammy’s mother (Harry Solway, owner [...]


Belinda McKeon’s Tender

Now that I’m getting more and more ideas for finding books from The New Yorker, rather than from The New York Times Book Review, from the one-page section titled”Briefly Noted”, I’m finding a plethora of excellent novels often not reviewed elsewhere.  Tender, by Belinda McKeon, is one such novel, and it’s one of the loveliest, [...]


Ian McGuire’s The North Water

The North Water, by Ian McGuire, is a combination adventure tale, morality play, historical novel, and singularly astute assessment of the characters of men under the most extreme of circumstances, particularly keen on understanding how easily money corrupts men.  One of the last whaling ships to go to, basically, The North Pole, at a time [...]


David Means’s Hystopia

David Means’s Hystopia is a much-anticipated novel–deservedly so, let me say up front–that looks at both veterans of the Vietnam War and two young women whose boyfriends were killed there–from a mostly Surreal perspective, or, one might say, from the perspectives of those on a variety of mind-altering drugs, and/or somewhere in between these different [...]


Hannah Tennant-Moore’s Wreck and Order

Two novels by young American women writers popped onto the literary scene in the past month or so; Wreck and Order (perhaps poorly titled), is a debut novel by Hannah Tennant-Moore, and Innocents and Others, the fourth offering by Dana Spiotta, one of the world’s most astonishing newer talents.  What these two novels have in [...]


Dana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others

Dana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others is a truly remarkable–brilliant–novel, centering around two young women from the Greater LA area, who attended a private high school specializing in film studies/film history. Meadow Mori, the real narrator/protagonist of the novel, is, no doubt, aptly named, as she begins to create films of her own back in high [...]


Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways

The Year of the Runaways, by Sunjeev Sahota, is the best novel to date of 2016, and may well end up as one of the year’s finest.  Sahota, an Indian man living in Sheffield, England, follows the lives of four young Indians from the Punjab, all of whom come to England (by methods most reminiscent of so [...]


Roger Rosenblatt’s Thomas Murphy

Yet another superb small novel appeared in the past couple of months, titled Thomas Murphy, and written by Roger Rosenblatt, better known to many as a playwright. This novel is roughly equivalent to last year’s small, splendid Academy Street, little noticed by critics, but listed on my “top twelve” books of the year as third.  [...]


April Issue Of Aeqai Online

The April issue of aeqai has just posted, and it’s a very full issue: you may have noted that each issue of aeqai is getting bigger, and that’s because we’re getting a lot of national attention, as well as regional, and we’ve been finding superb writers in many other cities:  we’re now covering Chicago, Los [...]


Anita Brookner: In Memoriam

Anita Brookner, the great English novelist and art historian, died last week at the age of 87.  She was, in my opinion, one of the ten best novelists of the latter part of the twentieth century, a writer of acute psychological insights,  who wrote perfect, flawless prose over and over in her approximately 24 novels, [...]


Review of Three Novels

As the worlds of fiction and literature in general broaden, we’re privileged to be able to read novels from all over the world, with ease, and the current emphasis on diversity has changed the face of fiction, too, as subject matters once considered either taboo or irrelevant are welcomed into the front ranks of literature.  [...]


March Issue of Aeqai Online

The March issue of aeqai has just posted, and , like last month’s issue, it’s a large one. Spring brings more art shows and more people going to them.  Our reviews this month start with Karen Chambers’ astute look at “Utopia Parkway Revisited”, at ThunderSky Gallery in Northside, wherin regional artists reexamine and reinterpret the [...]


Samantha Hunt’s Mr. Splitfoot

Upstate New York, beginning with Buffalo/Niagara Falls, and running through Rochester, Syracuse, due East to Utica, and then up Northeast to Troy and Schenectady, lost most of its industries in the early to mid 1960s, as mill towns lost their mills, and leather tanneries, one of the area’s major employees, closed when New York State [...]


Joyce Carol Oates’ The Man Without a Shadow

Acknowledging as a starting point that Joyce Carol Oates is never dull, never less than fascinating, and one of America’s greatest writers with one of the most fertile imaginations on earth, this maestra returns with her fascinating The Man Without a Shadow. As background, Oates was, in the past few years, widowed and remarried, and [...]


February Issue of Aeqai Online

February issue of Aeqai (go to www.aeqai.com) has just posted.  It reflects the very wide range of exhibitions currently on display throughout the region; we’ve got nearly 25 reviews and profiles this month, and it looks like next month’s going to be a big one, as well.  Highlights of this issue include Jonathan Kamholtz’s review of [...]


Patti Smith’s M Train

The multi-talented Patti Smith continues her third career as an essayist/memoirist with her superb , slim new book M Train.  Having taken the literary world by surprise and storm with her achingly lovely Just Kids, her memoir of her early days in New York with the equally young Robert Mapplethorpe, which won The National Book [...]


Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton

Elizabeth Strout, whose magnificent novel Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for literature a couple of years ago–and who seemed to appear out of nowhere–returns with another flawless novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton.  Strout is known for her feisty characters, and, in Lucy  Barton, she’s created another unique narrator, not so much feisty, as [...]


Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare

The brilliantly gifted novelist Mary Gaitskill, whose novel Veronica was a finalist for The National Book Award some years ago, and which showcased the greed and narcissism of the 1980s through the character of a high fashion New York model, has returned with her equally impressive The Mare.  The Mare’s a long novel, centered around [...]


January Issue of Aeqai Online

The January issue of Aeqai has just posted, as the season in the visual arts begins to heat up (though ‘heat’ may be an odd choice of words with the weather as it is). We’re excited to bring you a number of excellent reviews and profiles, and to introduce you to two new writers, Chelsea Borgman, [...]


Phyllis Weston: In Memoriam

Phyllis Weston’s recent death, after a very long and singularly fruitful career in the arts in Greater Cincinnati, certainly represents the end of an era, and I think that the era which she helped to define and in which she dominated, may have been a gentler one, certainly one in which the force of a personality [...]


Best Books of 2015

2015 was an odd year for fiction, unsettled, lacking greatness in general, but heartening to see so many younger writers from around the world taking to fiction, to writing novels, in spite of all the technological changes and the failing assumption that the physical book, the object, will soon be  a thing of the past.  (I [...]


December Issue of Aeqai Online

The December issue of Aeqai has just posted.  As before, it’s usually a smaller issue, as we note that more exhibition spaces hold off putting up new shows until around the middle of January , as various holiday pop-up shows in studios across the region occur.  Since this time of year tends to be frenzied,  institutions and galleries hope [...]


Review of Celant Lecture at Opening of FotoFocus

  On Friday evening, October 23, FotoFocus invited about one hundred people to dinner and to a kick off lecture by Italian curator/critic/thinker/museum professional Germano Celant, widely regarded as one of the first and finest independent curators in the world.  The event was the precursor for the one day Symposium organized by New York FotoFocus Curator [...]


Geraldine Brook’s The Secret Chord

The phenomenally gifted Geraldine Brooks has returned with her newest novel, The Secret Chord, and, like The People of The Book before it, it’s both magnificent, historically accurate, and often very moving. Her prose is as close to poetry, or prose poetry, as we are likely to see this year.  Fascinated by aspects of historical Judaism, in this novel, Brooks [...]


Jonathan Franzen’s Purity

Jonathan Franzen’s one of those hugely praised younger writers; sometimes I think his writing and ideas are superb, sometimes not; I often wonder about the wild adulation given to him (and also to Michael Chabon). But Franzen’s newest novel, Purity, although receiving a huge range of reviews, from positive to mixed to negative, is really a first [...]


November Issue of Aeqai Online

The November issue of Aeqai, which is filled with reviews and profiles, has just posted. It’s an exceptional issue, reflecting smart art, artists, and ideas about culture competing for our attention.  We look , from several different perspectives, at the Symposium that FotoFocus’ New York Curator Kevin Moore put together in Cincinnati on Oct. 24, [...]


Nature as the Soul’s Mirror

Last month, aeqai posted both a profile of area artist Kay Hurley, and a review of her new work (and that of sculptor Margot Gotoff). Interest in Hurley’s work is abundant, so aeqai is reprinting, with permission, a feature that aeqai editor Daniel Brown wrote for The Artist’s Magazine about Hurley in 2008 for our [...]


The State We’re In: Maine Stores by Anne Beattie

New stories by Ann Beattie are a literary event, because of the rarity of them. Her new work appears under the title The State We’re In:  Maine Stories, a relatively slim volume of mostly connecting stories (fifteen in total). Beattie’s so important to me, and to Baby Boomers in particular, as hers has been the definitive voice [...]


Arcadia by Lauren Groff

Ever since I’d read Lauren Groff’s novel Arcadia, which landed on my ten best novels of the year a couple of years ago, I have been looking forward to her next offering. What so impressed me in Arcadia was her gentleness of spirit, her ability to catch the essence of the best side of the [...]


AEQAI FALL BENEFIT

AEQAI FALL BENEFIT November 10, 2015 6-9pm Weston Gallery located in the Aronoff Center for the Arts   Aeqai is sponsoring its annual fundraiser on November 10, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Weston Gallery located in The Aronoff Center for the Arts. The purpose of the benefit is to provide funding for aeqai, a [...]


October Issue of Aeqai Online

The month of October always brings with it not only glorious weather, but some of the most fascinating art shows tend to appear during this month every year, and 2015 is no exception. Exhibition offerings are very strong, and the October issue of aeqai, now posted, is full of reviews, profiles, and manifests aeqai’s growth into [...]


Beth Hertz, Ahead of Her Time: Visionary Abstract Painter

Abstraction has made an explosive return to the visual arts in the past five years or so, and every now and again, an artist who is relatively unknown will surface with work that’s astonishingly fine. Dayton-area based Beth Hertz is just such an artist. An acolyte of Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Morgan Russell, Hertz was fascinated [...]


H is for Hawk

English writer Helen Macdonald’s memoir H is for Hawk is one of the most brilliantly conceived and written books of the year. I passed on buying it three times, as I couldn’t decide if it might be fascinating, or boring, or some kind of gimmick (alas, one does approach so much culture with those stipulations and/or concerns [...]


Artists as Activists

Saad Ghosn’s new and superb book, Artists as Activists, is now out, with a book signing and sale that just took place at Joseph Beth at Rookwood on September 19th.  It’s a splendid offering, full of individual interview essays that Ghosn wrote himself from a selection of many of this region’s finest artists. Let me recommend up [...]


The Sympathizers, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Dragonfish, by Vu Tran

Two recent novels, The Sympathizers, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Dragonfish, by Vu Tran, are debut novels by two Vietnamese-American men, and the books have many elements in common (besides their excellence).  The ndmerican media have been assuring us since Vietnam reunited, and since Western businesspeople began to go there to seek business opportunities, that the Vietnamese, [...]


September Issue of Aeqai Online

The September Aeqai has just posted. This issue represents a kind of transition period, from mid-to late August, through the first third of September, when the summer’s just about over, and the fall season’s about to begin in earnest. More are organizations, institutions , and for-profits program year ’round now, so we still have a [...]


Academy Street, by Mary Costello: A Perfect Novel

The publishing world’s still living in an era when their summer offerings are anachonistically known as ‘beach reading’, referring back, quaintly, to a time when people took the summer off for vacations (many Boards of Trustees of arts organizations also don’t meet in the summer, for the same reason: it was once assumed that ‘everyone’ [...]


The Green Road, by Anne Enright

The Green Road, by Anne Enright, is another  excellent summer release, written by the outstanding Irish novelist Anne Enright, whose earlier novel, The Gathering, won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction. Yes,  a plethora of Irish novelists are about, and their famous ‘gift for gab’ is manifest all round (Colm Toibin may well be [...]


The Book of Aron, by Jim Shephard

The famous expression “Never Again!” was coined by Rabbi Meier Kehane, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who emigrated to Israel , and may be said to have caused no end of trouble for various Israeli governments, but the expression itself will live well beyond the man who coined it. Although specifically meant for Jews, the quote means [...]


The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

This debut novel by young African-American novelist  Angela Flournoy is written in what first appears to be simple narrative prose style—and that’s a good thing, since the novel is about a family of two parents and thirteen children born to them, and takes place mostly in Detroit from right around World War II to the [...]


Summer Issue of Aeqai Online

The summer issue of Aeqai has just posted; it’s our annual double issue, July and August, when the arts are a little slower. We think that in future summers , more and more activity will take place as the idea of ‘summer in the city’ takes off, and less and less people have vacations (it used to [...]


Mapplethorpe Then and Now: 25 Years and a Conversation with FotoFocus’ Kevin Moore

Many different memories, ideas, conclusions, and issues  are beginning to surface as FotoFocus Curator Kevin Moore and the Contemporary Arts Center each look toward Fall of 2015, the 25th anniversary of the original Robert Mapplethorpe photography show, “The Perfect Moment”, and its tumultuous  aftermath.  Sheriff Simon Leis and the Vice Squad closed down the exhibition, [...]

Read | No Comments | Tags: * · June 2015

Book Review: Odysseus Abroad, by Amit Chaudhuri

Odysseus Abroad, by Amit Chaudhuri, is an exceptionally intelligent novel, often funny, sometimes sad, about a young man from India who’s gone to London to study towards a Ph.D. in twentieth century English poetry. He has an uncle living in London, retired, and periodic visits from his mother from India are a routine part of [...]


Book Review: A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, may be the finest novel you’ll read this year. Long, at 720 pages in hardback, it’s the most page-turning, fingernail-gripping book I’ve read since Donna Tartt’s very fine Goldfinch. One of the most fascinating facts about fiction in the past five years or so is the number of very long [...]


June Issue of Aeqai Online

The June issue of aeqai has just been posted, again reflecting the wide variety of visual experiences available in this region, and across the nation.  The Contemporary Arts Center downtown continues to offer exciting exhibitions for us, and aeqai critic Keith Banner reviews Titus Kaphar’s remarkable “The Vesper Project”, while Zack Hatfield analyzes former Cincinnati [...]


May Issue of Aeqai Online

The May issue of Aeqai has just posted, and it again reflects wide swaths of the visual arts communities here and in other areas/regions/cities. Our coverage this month begins with a thoughtful and sensitive review of a photography show at Iris Book Cafe, curated by William Messer, known widely for his superb aesthetic eye, and [...]


Book Review: After Birth by Elisa Albert

I am ongoingly impressed and reassured by the very high quality of fiction written by younger generations of writers, both American and internationally, from countries including England,Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Australia Afghanistan, India, amongst others. In spite of all the digital hoo haa that we hear every day, legions of younger fiction (and non-fiction) writers still [...]


Book Review: Migrating Animals by Mary Helen Specht

Another splendid novel by a virtually unknown young American woman, Migratory Animals is a fine look at a group of friends who met in college, who are now in their late twenties/early thirties. The novel about college friends who hang together afterwards has become a common American trope: Jeffrey Eugenides’ excellent The Marriage Plot covers [...]


Book Review: Early Warning by Jane Smiley

The admirable Jane Smiley has returned with the second of three novels of a trilogy, about a family from Iowa; the triology follows three generations of this family from the twenties to the present (I assume). Somehow she’s managed to get the second novel out in just over a year from the first, and these [...]


Book Review: The Wall by H.G. Adler

Little known in America, H.G. Adler is becoming one of the towering figures of modernist literature, and deservedly so.  The third novel of his Holocaust trilogy, The Wall, was recently published in America.  The reviewers who have written about this novel can only be said to be awestruck by it, and I’ve joined the ranks [...]


April Issue of Aeqai Online

April has brought us better weather, and an ongoing plethora of first-rate exhibitions in the visual arts, as well as more new galleries, increasingly on the west side of town.  The April aeqai (www.aeqai.com) is now posted, and here’s an overview of what’s in it.  Mike Rutledge gives us an exciting profile of husband-and-wife ceramicist [...]


Book Review: The Secret Wisdom of Earth by Christopher Scotton

Another exciting debut novel is out, this one entitled The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, and is written by Christopher Scotton.  It’s very much akin to Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek, which was listed on my best fiction of the year list for 2014.  Scotton is a great story teller, and his novel is [...]


Book Review: Outline By Rachel Cusk

English writer Rachel Cusk’s new novel, titled Outline, is one of the most unusual novels around, and if you give it what’s now called slow time to read it, you’re in for a special treat.  Cusk, who has written admirably and even painfully in the past about the breakup of her own marriage, creates a [...]


March Issue of Aeqai Online

The March issue of Aeqai has just posted, and the offerings in the visual arts this month have been outstanding, all over the region.  As Spring finally arrived, people have been eager to get out, see art, regroup, and be part of an increasingly large number of special events, lectures, adjunct programming.  Aeqai also welcomes [...]


Winter Issue of Aeqai Online

The January/February issue of aeqai has just posted. It’s a six week, rather than four week, issue, as the first two weeks in January were off to a slow start, after the holidays wended their way out of our systems, and the weather began to allow us to go out and not freeze. We begin [...]


Book Review: Preparation of the Next Life by Atticus Lish

Atticus Lish’s novel, Preparation for the Next Life, published by Tyrant Books in paperback only, is the finest debut novel I have read in at least 25 years.  Rave reviews are pouring in from every publication of note that has reviewed his book.  Let me say up front that this is a must read novel, [...]


Book Review: Hand to Mouth: Living in the Bootstrap of America by Linda Tirado

Barbara Ehrenreich, one of America’s finest journalists, brought contemporary American poverty to this country’s consciousness in two works of non-fiction, first in Nickel and Dimed, published in 2001, and later in Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, published in 2006, right before the great market crash of 2008.  In the first [...]


December Issue of Aeqai is Online

Aeqai is back with our December issue. We’ve taken this opportunity to give you more profiles this month, as so many galleries and nonprofits are showing their holiday wares/exhibitions/displays, though we also offer some key reviews. We hope that you’ve had or will take the chance to see the new neon installation by area artist [...]


Bukang Kim: The Completed Journey

All of the arts have been refreshed by waves of painters, writers, musicians and dancers, who fled their countries of origin between approximately 1933 and the present. Often called exile artists, writers from Nabokov to Kiran Desai, and painters from Max Ernst to Man Ray, from de Kooning and Mondrian to Gorky and Hans Hofmann, [...]

Read | 1 Comment | Tags: * · December 2014

Athena: Parthenos/Promachus by Huck Fairman

Huck Fairman takes a look at a declining contemporary American marriage through the lens of a vacation in Greece that is a “let’s give it one more try” getaway.  He uses a fascinating plot device, or series of them, by putting this couple at a party, where everyone pretends to have a name of an [...]


Best Fiction of 2014

1.  Francine Prose, The Chameleon Club, Paris, 1932 Prose creates a club friendly to gay, lesbian and transvestite clienteles, at a time when the Nazi presence is starting to be felt in Paris.  A photographer based upon the Hungarian born Andre Kertesz photographs the demimonde of Paris, while a belligerent lesbian athlete, abused from childhood, [...]


November Issue of AEQAI Online

The November issue of aeqai has just posted. November was a very busy month in the visual arts, with some FotoFocus shows still going strong, and fine offerings from many nonprofits and commercial galleries. We offer, again, a wide swath of the arts community in this issue. Jonathan Kamholtz completes our FotoFocus coverage with a [...]


A Conversation with Cameron Kitchin

Cameron Kitchin, the new director of The Cincinnati Art Museum, firmly believes that “public service is in the DNA of this institution”, referring to the museum itself.  He and I sat down for a combined conversation/interview on Monday, November 3rd, which lasted for just under two hours.  Although he had only been on the job [...]


Book Review: Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley’s novel One Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is compelling and gripping not only because the book builds to a surprise and horrifying climax, but also because Smiley understands the rhythms of farm life, the influence of weather, the very soil of Iowa, in which her characters are seeded and grow.  Smiley [...]


Book Review: Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories by Paul Theroux

Books of short stories are often difficult to review, particularly when the stories do not overlap, one to another, almost like a novel in short stories.  But I have long considered Paul Theroux to be one of America’s most important writers in three different genres: travel writing, fiction, and short fiction.  Theroux burst on the [...]


Public Art: Mural Month and FotoFocus

October has been a month full of activities in the visual arts.  FotoFocus, the biennial celebration of photography and lens-based art, is still in swing, and it brought an exceptionally high level of exhibitions, lectures, and other adjunct programming to Greater Cincinnati.  Mayor Cranley also declared October to be Mural Month, in order to bring [...]


Book Review: Lila by Marilynne Robinson

If you haven’t read or encountered the great mind of writer /theologian/philosopher Marilynne Robinson, I urge you to read her new novel, Lila, which is the third in a trilogy, though entirely possible to read without the first two. Lila actually takes place before the other two novels, Gilead (which won The Pulitzer Prize in [...]


October Issue of AEQAI Online

The month of October has offered Greater Cincinnatians a plethora of superior art exhibitions, as well as lectures, discussions and other adjunct programming as part of the second biennial FotoFocus.  Some of the most sophisticated photographers exhibited their work here, and FotoFocus organizers added an intense series of speakers, conversations between and amongst our own [...]


September Issue of ÆQAI Online

The September ÆQAI has just posted. We apologize that it’s a couple of days late, but we had a lot of writers out of town, a very sick webmaster, and I moved in the middle of the last week of September. But we think that it’s an exceptional issue, and hope that you, too, find [...]


Book Review: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan’s new novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North is highly likely to win this year’s Man Booker Prize in literature. The Booker Prize (which was recently spoofed in Edward St. Aubyn’s newest novel to great affect) is probably the most important literary award in the world, including the Nobel Prize. [...]


Book Review: “The Children Act” by Ian McEwan

We have learned to  expect both excellence and brilliance from English writer Ian McEwan.  His new novel, The Children Act, may possibly be his finest book yet, although I am not certain that such a remark is even necessary since so many of them are superior.  The ambiguous title, which I originally took to mean [...]


The New Season in the Visual Arts: Cincinnati Matures

The enthusiasm for the new Fall season in the visual arts is very high.  We are seeing more creative exhibition venues, as well as our regular museums, galleries, non-profits, and even restaurants that display art.  Quite a few invitations have been arriving from artists having small shows on Sunday afternoons or Saturday evenings, when, we [...]


Is Entertainment Enough?

We have been hearing for several decades now that the arts have to compete with all entertainment.  Since the advent of the “24/7” work schedule, wherein everyone is supposed to be available all the time, made significantly worse by the advent of technology, people who work have less and less available free time.  The assumption [...]


Lois Rosenthal: In Memoriam

Lois Rosenthal’s recent and untimely death gives pause to all of us as we think about her contributions to the arts and towards our increasingly unknown future with those same arts here.  I have always thought of Lois, to use the language of business, as an entrepreneur, rather than a manager.  Her great mind was [...]


Book Review: Fourth of July Creek

A very pleasant surprise is in store if you read Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson.  This nearly epic novel is the author’s first, and he exhibits a maturity in his thinking, his writing, in the complexities of his plot, his delineation of character, and his extraordinary empathy for his people.  Set in contemporary [...]


Book Review: “My Struggle”

Book 3 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six volume novel/autobiography/memoir has just been published.  These novels have been widely praised all over the world for their use of a different model of what constitutes fiction, or the novel itself.  I went a bought Book 1 and Book 2, to see what the hype is about.  They [...]


Post-Tribal Shamanism: A New Look at the Old Ways by Kenn Day

The Age of Aquarius, better known as the 60’s, brought a vital return to what became known as New Age spirituality, and its subsets in fields like medicine.  As a chronic pain patient myself, I learned 28 years ago, when my “pain of undetermined origin” began, that the answers I was looking for were not [...]


Directions in the Visual Arts: Thoughts at the End of the Season

by Daniel Brown As we near the end of another art season, which is generally thought to run from September through June, much like the academic year, some patterns have emerged which we should note.  The predominant movement seems to be towards a near complete domination of the visual arts by non-profits, and the very [...]

Read | 1 Comment | Tags: * · Features · June 2014

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