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.

January/February Issue of Aeqai Online

The combined January/February issue of  Aeqai has just posted, and it’s a rich and full issue, covering art shows both regional, national, and international.  When our writers travel, we usually ask them to look at significant shows around the nation/world so that our creative talent can see what’s up in other areas, and our  heavy […]

“American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins

“American Dirt”, the new and much anticipated novel by Jeanine Cummins, has caused a huge kerfluffle in leftist literary circles and amongst a number of writers of Mexican heritage, amongst others.  The novel itself may be getting lost in the swirls of controversy.   Cummins, who is a mostly white woman (her father was Puerto Rican), […]

“This is Happiness” by Niall Williams

A very good friend of mine recently observed that I probably read more than most people do; I’ve been a serious reader of mostly fiction since my junior year in high school way back in the ’60s. So when I claim that Niall Williams’ new novel “This Is Happiness” is the most beautiful novel I’ve […]

December Issue of Aeqai Online

The December issue of Aeqai has just posted, and, holidays nothwithstanding, we have a full and rich issue for you.  We have reviews from two museums this month; our lede article is by Jonathan Kamholtz, who analyzes the rich, elegiac work by a lesser known photographer, who’s from India, Sohrab Hura, who moseyed through the […]

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Best Fiction of 2019

2019 was an exceptionally fine year for new fiction.  My list of the best fiction of this year was difficult to make, as so many excellent choices are available.  In reading other such lists (“The New York Times Book Review”; “The New Yorker”, NPR, Amazon, amongst others), I noted that these lists have few novels […]

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November Issue of Aeqai Online

The November issue of Aeqai has just posted; we decided to put this issue up a week early,  in order to avoid the demands and pleasures of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. We have a fascinating issue, reviews and essays of exhibitions both in this region and from Houston, Hydra (Greece), New York and LA. Our […]

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“Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kittredge, one of the most beloved–and feisty–characters in contemporary literature (the novel “Olive Kittredge” won The Pulitzer Prize) has returned in Elizabeth Strout’s new novel “Olive, Again”, and Strout’s older Olive is as compelling a character as she was in the original novel.  Elizabeth Strout also happens to write perfect, flawless prose; her sentences […]

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“The Shadow King” by Maaza Mengiste

Ethiopian-born novelist Maaza Mengiste has just burst onto the literary scene with her magnificent novel “The Shadow King”.  (An increasingly large number of African, and/or African-born writers, mostly women, are astonishing the literary world with their fiction; “The Old Drift”, by Namwali Serpell, is another example from 2019, surely to be on most everyone’s best […]

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“Union Station”, “The Topeka School” and “The Grammarians”

I’m learning that when “The New York Times Book Review” tells its readers that new books are experimental, or are breaking new boundaries in the structures of the work, or that the writers are breaking new ground in either short fiction (Zadie Smith’s new stories in “Union Station” or the novel itself (Ben Lerner’s “The […]

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“Find Me” by Andre Aciman

Two of the most sophisticated and beautifully written novels, both dealing with the dynamics of desire, sexuality, gender, and a strong emphasis on memory and time–appeared recently.  “Find Me”, Andre Aciman’s sequel of sorts to his wildly successful “Call Me By Your Name” (which was also made into a much-praised movie), contains some of the […]

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October Issue of Aeqai Online

The October issue of Aeqai has just posted.  It’s a very full issue, as the fall art season is now in full swing. The three major arts institutions in Cincinnati have all begun their seasons with superior shows.  Jonathan Kamholtz reviews the recently opened exhibition of Hudson River Valley paintings from the exceptionally fine New […]

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Susan Choi’s “Trust Exercise”

I almost stopped reading “Trust Exercise”, by Susan Choi, about a third of the way into the novel, and I cannot tell you how glad I am that I didn’t.  It’s an amazingly clever and psychologically astute novel. The novel, purportedly written by a former student of a Performing Arts High School somewhere in The […]

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Kevin Barry’s “Night Boat to Tangier”

“Night Boat to Tangier”, by Irish novelist Kevin Barry, is nothing short of magnificent. Two Irish-born men, Maurice and Charlie, now middle-aged or slightly older, find themselves in a somewhat sleazy port city in Spain, where they’re waiting/hoping to see Maurice’s long-lost daughter Dilly, who’d run away years back after her mother, Maurice’s wife, died […]

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Alexi Zentner’s “Copperhead”

“Copperhead”, a new novel by Alexi Zentner, is essential reading in today’s politically overcharged era. Inventing a university clearly based upon Cornell, in upstate New York, where the author presumably teaches, “Copperhead” presents issues regarding race and class in ways different from the dynamics and dialectics we are used to reading or hearing about. And […]

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September Issue of Aeqai Online

The September issue of Aeqai has just posted. We’re in that twilight time when summer drags on and autumn’s holding out, as the art season will be revving up in full swing shortly. In the meantime, we’ve got stimulating columns for you, starting with Ekin Erkan’s incredibly important review of video work by Turkish artist […]

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Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys”

“The Nickel Boys” is Colson Whitehead’s follow-up novel to his much praised, Pulitzer-prize winning novel “The Underground Railroad”.  Whitehead appears to have studied and researched the histories of African-Americans in this country, and his newest novel is based upon a kind of reformatory school near Tallahassee, Florida, a product of the Jim Crow South and […]

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Tea Obreht’s “Inland”

Tea Obreht’s second novel, “Inland” , may be even more phenomenal than her superb debut novel, “The Tiger’s Wife”.  Both have appeared within 18 months or so, which, in and of itself, is amazing enough, both are long, sprawling, adventurous novels.  “Inland” is one of this year’s best novels, as we head into the final […]

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Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s “Fleishman Is In Trouble”

The reader’s response to Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s novel “Fleishman Is In Trouble”–which, amazingly, has been nominated for The National Book Award– is going to depend upon his or her age, demographic, education, ideology. There’s no doubt that the novel is exceptionally well written, as it purports to explore a very contemporary marriage, or its demise, told […]

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Summer Issue of Aeqai Online

The Summer issue of Aeqai has just posted. The summer’s brought us some stimulating art exhibitions, promising, too, an exciting fall season as the visual arts begin another season here.  We’re also pleased to welcome two new writers, C.M. Turner and Josh Beckelhimer, who both have reviews in this issue and will continue with Aeqai […]

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Elizabeth Gilbert’s “City of Girls”

Elizabeth Gilbert, whose “Eat Pray Love” was both highly acclaimed and highly popular, has returned with a terrific new novel, “City of Girls”, surprising in scope, depth, and acuity.  Partly an adventurous romp, this rite-of-passage novel about a nineteen year old, unfocused, seemingly spoiled upper middle class young women from small-town, Upstate New York becomes […]

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Kathleen Alcott’s “When America Was Hard to Find”

Kathleen Alcott’s novel “When America Was Hard to Find” (the title comes from a poem made during the Vietnam war by Father Daniel Berrigan) is a tough, gritty novel that’s both riveting in  plot and brilliantly written.   Two sisters from a very affluent family have fled their controlled, controlling, upper-middle class background of privilege and […]

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John Young’s “When the Coin is in the Air”

Cincinnati novelist John Young’s debut novel “When The Coin Is In The Air” is impressive.  Written in simple narrative prose, without fuss or mannered writing, the novel is the story (possibly autobiographical) of a young man growing up on a farm in small town in Indiana, who will end up living in Boston in this […]

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June/July Issue of Aeqai Online

The June/July issue of Aeqai has just posted.  We apologize for the delay this month; my pneumonia dragged on and on and I’ve had limited energy to work. But short though this issue is,we believe that it’s an important and stimulating one. We review two museum shows and one major arts center in Cincinnati this […]

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Isabella Hammad’s “The Parisian”

Isabella Hammad’s “The Parisian”, is yet another debut novel this year of astonishing power and grace.  Set partly in France and mostly in Palestine before the implementation of The Balfour Declaration, which created The State of Israel and presumably a Palestinian state, Hammad’s created, in her narrator Midhat Kamal, a truly memorable partly Baudelaireian Parisian […]

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Ocean Vuong’s “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”

Ocean Vuong is a young Vietnamese-American, whose first collection of poetry was widely acclaimed, and whose first novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”, deserves the same praise for this debut novel, which is often painfully moving, poignant, and often even raw.  Written as a letter to his mother, whom he calls “Ma”, who also doesn’t […]

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Nell Freudenberger’s “Lost and Wanted”

I wish I could figure out who the intended audience for Nell Freudenberger’s very bad novel “Lost and Wanted” is supposed to be, but am unable to do so.  Perhaps it’s some kind of millennial fairy tale, quasi-feminist academic parable or diversity handbook or some such.  Freudenberger has written several first rate novels to date, […]

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May Issue of Aeqai Online

The May issue of Aeqai has just posted.  It’s a shorter, abridged issue this month; we’re only publishing those reviews that are from the Greater Cincinnati area, skipping our national correspondents/critics this month, since I’ve been laid up with pneumonia for over six weeks.  But we’ve got some great columns/features/reviews this month, anyway. Chris Carter […]

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Namwali Serpell’s “The Old Drift”

A slew of great novels has appeared in the past two months, all long, and all first-rate.  But first among equals is “The Old Drift”, a first novel by Zambian writer Namwali Serpell. Be prepared to read a masterpiece of incredible complexity, a family saga crossing four generations, in which the countries of both Zambia […]

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Julie Orringer’s “The Flight Portfolio”

“The Flight Portfolio”, by Julie Orringer, is another splendid, first-rate new novel, astonishing in its details and analysis of character and place.  Based upon the real career of the American Varian Fry, a Harvard-educated man who forms the Emergency Rescue Committee in New York, whose mission was to help well-known artists and writers trapped by […]

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April Issue of Aeqai Online

The April issue of Aeqai has just posted. We bring a variety of reviews, one profile and one feature this month.  Cincinnati-born, Brooklyn-based performance artist Rachel Rampelman’s work about gender, in particular, is reviewed this month by Annie Dell’Aria; the show’s at The Weston in downtown Cincinnati in The Aronoff Center.  Dell’Aria examines three different […]

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Amy Hempel’s “Sing to It”

Since William Trevor’s death last year, American Amy Hempel is probably the finest writer of short stories anywhere in the world.  Her new collection, “Sing to It”, is her first book in fourteen years, although the stories in it have been published in various magazines and journals elsewhere.  For those of you enamored of incredible […]

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Leila Aboulela’s “Elsewhere, Home”

Leila Aboulela’s new collection of short fiction, “Elsewhere, Home”, is another superb selection of short stories.  The narrator of each story is generally a woman from Africa, mainly from The Sudan (I assume the writer herself was born there), and who is living in either London or Aberdeen (Scotland), either temporarily or permanently.  Highly educated, […]

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Nathan Englander’s “kaddish.com”

Nathan Englander moves into the front ranks of American fiction writers with his new novel, “kaddish.com“.  Earlier books of short fiction and his last novel “Dinner at the Center of the Earth”manifest an enormous creative talent, a writer who can be extremely serious as well as sarcastic and funny.  “kaddish.com” falls into the latter category; […]

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March Issue of Aeqai Online

The March issue of Aeqai has just posted.  It’s replete with fascinating reviews and profiles, and for those of our readers particularly interested in the digital world and its effects on contemporary art, we offer three columns which specifically address some of those issues.   Ekin Erkan provides two of those; he’ll be reviewing shows in […]

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Khaled Khalifa’s “Death is Hard Work”

A new voice in fiction, at least for Americans, is that of Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa, whose new novel, “Death is Hard Work”, is both grimly humorous and deadly serious concurrently. Khalifa, who is still living in Damascus, sets this new novel right in the middle of the Syrian civil war.  Three siblings, all grown […]

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Elizabeth McCracken’s “Bowlaway”

“Bowlaway”, by the hugely gifted novelist Elizabeth McCracken, is currently my Number l best novel of 2019 to date. Part fairy tale, part realism, “Bowlaway” exists in a world so finely delineated and created, and walks such a fine line between various genres, that you’ll be astonished at how quickly it seduces you and moves […]

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Winter 2019 Issue of Aeqai Online

The Winter (Jan./Feb.) issue of Aeqai has just posted.  We bring twenty-two columns in this issue, rich with critical anaylsis, profiles of artists, and book reviews. The two museum shows this month are Jonathan Kamholtz’s exceptional review of modernist paintings from The Phillips Collection in Washington–and what a collection it is!–and Karen Chambers’ review of […]

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Robert W. Fieseler’s “Tinderbox”

Gay Liberation in America is generally thought to have begun with the Stonewall Inn protests in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1969.  Homosexuality was, at that time, still considered a psychiatric disease by the so-called helping professions in America, and gay and lesbian people marginalized to a kind of status of non-people, a hidden […]

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Guy Gunaratne’s “In Our Mad and Furious City”

Guy Gunaratne has written a powerful and important novel, “In Our Mad and Furious City”, which takes place in contemporary London, or those parts of it where new immigrants, almost all people of color, have been marginalized into wretched tower block housing.  Gunaratne focuses his novel around the lives of a number of young men, […]

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Tessa Hadley’s “Late in the Day”

The English writer Tessa Hadley is rapidly becoming one of that country’s foremost fiction writers; her work in the past couple of years has expanded to include a wide American audience.  At times, Hadley’s writing, which is completely magnificent, reminds me of the late, great Anita Brookner’s, who wrote perfect, flawless prose in an increasingly […]

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December 2018 Issue of Aeqai Online

The December issue of Aeqai has just posted.  It’s a shorter issue, as less shows opened this month, and many of Aeqai’s writers are unavailable at this time of year. But we’ve still got some superb reviews and profiles for you. Jonathan Kamholtz has been reviewing paintings by Cole Carothers for Aeqai for awhile now; […]

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Best Fiction of 2018

  2018 was an odd year for fiction; good and occasionally superior books appeared throughout the year, though it took some sleuthing to find them.  Nothing dominates other than an ominous tendency towards overpraising novels that tend towards the politically correct.  If you read other lists of best novels of the year, you’ll notice a […]

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November Issue of Aeqai Online

The November issue of Aeqai has just posted.  We’d like to both thank and commend all of those at FotoFocus, who have offered all of us in the Greater Cincinnati area (and those in Lexington, Louisville, Dayton and Columbus, too), for an outstanding series of exhibitions in this biennial festival of photography.  It’s been a […]

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“Four Soldiers” by Hubert Mingaerelli

I was wandering around in Joseph Beth Booksellers a few weeks ago, and a caption by English novelist Hillary Mantel, whose books on King Henry VIII and Cromwell have fascinated me, to date, and saw this quote on a book cover :  “A small miracle of a book, perfectly imagined and perfectly achieved”.  That novel […]

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“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

“Washington Black”, a new and much praised novel by the African-Canadian author Esi Edugyan, is a real romp of an epic.  It centers around a slave boy named Washington Black, who lives as a young boy on a sugar cane plantation in Barbados, owned by an English white family, transitioning from a father newly dead to […]

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“Early Work” by Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin’s debut novel, “Early Work”, show us a very young writer of amazing talent.  The novel’s about a group of young/would-be writers, all of whom seem to have been made precious by various writing/MFA in creative writing programs, which are growing enormously around America these days, seeming to subsidize English departments everywhere.  A group […]

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“A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl” by Jean Thompson

The often underrated or undernoticed Jean Thompson’s back with another of her superb family sagas, this one called “A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl”, and it’s splendid. Thompson, who lives in Illinois, has been writing family sagas about people who live in the Upper Midwest, in cities of, oh, 100,000 people or so; […]

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October Issue of Aeqai Online

The October issue of aeqai has just posted.  We have numerous reviews, this month, of FotoFocus shows; this year’s theme is “Open Archives” and it’s been interpreted admirably by all sorts of talented artists at venues both conventional and unconventional.  New York Curator Kevin Moore is , once more, the general Curator of FotoFocus. Annie […]

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Daniel Mason’s “The Winter Soldier”

World War I continues to inspire many a novelist, partly because both the social and political structures of Europe died in the trenches of that war, ushering in the modern era, the 20th century, the most barbaric recorded in human history.  Daniel Mason’s “The Winter Soldier” is a superb addition to such literature.  Reading either […]

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Stephen Markley’s “Ohio”

The novelist Stephen Markley, author of the new book “Ohio”, is new to me.  “Ohio” describes life in a small town in Northeastern Ohio, where all the industries have left, drugs are rampant and no one has much to do. Markley’s novel revolves around the lives of  a number of high school students, mainly juniors […]

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Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Unsheltered”

A new novel by Barbara Kingsolver, one of America’s finest writers, is a real literary event, so I ordered  “The Unsheltered” the day it was released.  (Her last two novels were first on my “best fiction of the year lists). “Unsheltered”, however, disappoints, more so because Kinsolver’s writing about some very important, topical themes.  Things […]

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September Issue of Aeqai Online

The September issue of Aeqai has just posted.  We waited one extra week to post so that we could begin to cover some of the numerous FotoFocus exhibitions that are all over the region, under the title “Open Archive”, curated, again , by New York Curator Kevin Moore.  FotoFocus is now the largest photography festival […]

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Kevin T. Kelly at Alan Avery Art Company

Kevin T. Kelly has created a new body of paintings for this exhibition at Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta, and they are his most complex, his most biting, his most urgent in his long career as one of this country’s foremost painters.  Long associated with a neo-Pop style, which he probably learned in his […]

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Ottessa Moshfegh’s “My Year of Rest and Relaxation”

Ottessa Moshfegh has burst upon the literary scene mostly in the past 18 months, with, first, a book of short stories, and, now, her novel “My Year of Rest and Relaxation”, although she’s written two other novels of which I was unaware.  Brought to my attention by my reading friend Kevin Ott, who also recommended […]

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Pat Barker’s “The Silence of The Girls”

Pat Barker, the English woman writer, is, at her best, one of the world’s greatest living novelists.  She may be the finest novelist writing about men at war; her “Regeneration Trilogy”, one novel of which won the prestigious Booker Prize for Literature, is written about soldiers suffering from what was then first called “shell-shock” in […]

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Gary Shteyngart’s “Lake Success”

Gary Shteyngart is usually one of the finest, most biting satirists in America.  The Russian-born, US raised Shteyngart has both satirized the Russian Mafia in America, the life of the new immigrant here; he has a keen, fine eye for the absurd and for the hypocritical. His new novel, “Lake Success”, however, is big disappointment.  […]

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Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”

August is usually a slow month for me, and I’ve often read 19th century novels during the summers over the years, novels I didn’t read along the way or in school decades ago. This year’s big novel was “War and Peace”, by Leo Tolstoy (which, in Russian slang, means “fat lion”).  I was amazed at […]

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July/August Issue of Aeqai Online

The July/August issue of aeqai has just posted.  We do one combined summer issue every year, when things are a bit slower in the arts.  Some of the reviews in this issue look at exhibitions that are no longer up for viewing; usually we try to be sure that the shows we review are still […]

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Ivan Ivanov at the Eva Ferris Gallery at Thomas More College

One of this summer’s most impressive shows, paintings by Ivan Ivanov, was on display at the Eva Ferris Gallery at Thomas More College.  Ivanov tackles big, heroic themes in his works, which are abstract, reminding us  in many ways of American Abstract Expressionism, but his themes are very much his own and his painterly style […]

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Julian Barnes’ “The Only Story

I’ve never quite been able to define why I find English novelists so compelling, so engaging, so smart, but I do.    Three of the finest writers of the century, Iris Murdoch, Barbara Pym, and Anita Brookner are all gone now, though they leave a vast legacy of astonishing fiction. Still alive and writing are A.S. […]

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Rebecca Makkai’s “The Great Believers”

I’d not encountered the writing of Rebecca Makkai, until her new novel “The Great Believers”, which is a rare novel dealing with the advent of the AIDS crisis in l980’s Chicago.  This highly sensitive account of the lives of a number of young gay men in Chicago, all more or less just starting their post-collegiate […]

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June Issue of Aeqai Online

The June issue of Aeqai has just posted.  We offer a wide variety of reviews from our region and from other major American cities as well. We’re particularly taken with LA critic Annabel Osberg’s review of Jurassic Technology , which we’ve run first, and hope you read as we’re asked to distinguish between what may […]

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Jackie Demaline: In Memoriam

Jackie Demaline, long The Enquirer’s theater critic, and truly a force field of energy, died very recently.  She’d been a friend of mine and colleague for decades, and she changed the face of theater in Cincinnati, partly by expecting excellence in all things theater, and partly through the sheer force of her personality.  Her departure […]

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Richard Power’s “The Overstory”

“The Overstory”, this year’s National Book Award winner by Richard Powers, may be the finest novel of 2018 so far (though Rachel Kushner’s “The Mars Room” is a close second). Since this novel was reviewed at some length in The New York Times Book Review by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite writers, who’s also […]

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Rachel Kushner’s “The Mars Room”

The preposterously talented Rachel Kushner, who I consider to be America’s finest young writer, has returned with her astonishingly fine new novel “The Mars Room”.  (We note that she is not related to President Trump’s not-so-talented son-in-law, Jared Kushner).  This novel is so finely researched, like Jennifer Egan’s most recent novel about life in and […]

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April/May Issue of Aeqai Online

The April/May Aeqai has just posted.  We’ve combined these two issues due to a recent move on my part, with all the attendant chaos moves create.  I can now locate about 75% of what I need. This late spring time of year has been offering a wealth of excellent shows, particularly at Greater Cincinnati area […]

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Jon McGregor’s “Reservoir 13”

Jon McGregor’s new novel “Reservoir 13″ contains some of the finest writing in recent contemporary fiction.  Its basic plot is relatively simple: in a small town/village in either the North of England or the Midlands, a family has come for a vacation and is renting a guest house on an area property, when their 13-year […]

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March Issue of Aeqai Online

The art scene around the country is blossoming just as Nature provides her own new life and growth in this time of renewal, regeneration and hope.  The March issue of Aeqai provides a range of reviews and artist profiles consistent with a newly politicized interest in social justice, race, gender, and class, and an examination […]

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Ruby Namdar’s “The Ruined House”

Ruby Namdar is an Iranian-born Jew now living in Israel, and his new novel “The Ruined House” is one of the most fascinating and intelligent novels around, brilliantly researched and with fascinating spiritual-psychological implications that seem unusually relevant for today’s postmodern, postreligious, materialist culture. Ones hears a great deal around town these days about the […]

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Jamie Quatro’s “Fire Sermon”

Jamie Quatro (who is a woman) is fast becoming one of America’s most impressive and accomplished younger writers, nearly in a league with such already greats as Jennifer Egan, Rachel Kushner, Nicole Krauss. Quatro’s  short stories, “I Want to Show You More”, were some of the most impressive when published about two years ago, and […]

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January/February Issue of Aeqai Online

Aeqai has returned with its combined January/February, 2018, issue, which has just posted. What’s particularly engaging about this issue is the range of exhibitions covered (and people profiled), as we’re living in a transitional world in the visual arts, and are witnessing a time where the internet’s presence and importance, particularly to younger artists, is […]

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Review of Jens Jensen at Cincinnati Art Galleries

Cincinnati Art Galleries has managed to represent the estate of the late modernist painter Jens Jensen, and an exhibition of this artist’s work is currently on view at Cincinnati Art Galleries downtown.  It’s difficult to describe the delight and joy at looking at an excellent modernist in today’s highly politicized and digitalized postmodern world: Jensen’s […]

Read | Comments Off on Review of Jens Jensen at Cincinnati Art Galleries | Tags: * · January/February 2018

Interview with Eric Avner of The Haile Foundation

I sat down with Eric Avner of The Haile Foundation in early December, at their People’s Liberty office in OTR, to get a sense of the man, what he does at Haile, and the like. We weren’t doing a formal interview; we had a very mutually participatory conversation about the state of the arts and […]

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Jenny Erpenbeck’s “Go, Went, Gone”

“Go, Went, Gone”, by German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, is one of the best novels to date about the subject of immigration/migrants/emigrants.  The title is particularly evocative, since the African migrants around whom this novel is written, are being taught the German language, simply because they have nothing else to do–they are not allowed to work–and the […]

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Romain Gary’s “The Kites”

I’d never read anything by the multi-talented French writer Romain Gary before, and “The Kites” appears to be a sequel to other novels he wrote. “The Kites” is a powerful novel about The French Resistance in occupied Normandy just before and during the Nazi occupation there.  Gary himself, originally a Lithuanian Jew, left for France […]

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December 2017 Issue of Aeqai Online

The December Aeqai has just posted.  It’s full of reviews from the region, and from cities as far away as both Paris and Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. (Whenever Aeqai writers travel, we encourage them to review shows wherever they may be).  We start this issue with Jonathan Kamholtz’s brilliant review of […]

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Best Fiction of 2017

In spite of entire months going by with little fiction of note, 2017 did give serious readers some terrific fiction.  Part of the problem is that publications offering book reviews have radically different ideas about what’s worth reading.  And it’s an important time to be on the lookout for political correctness and other ideologies common […]

Read | Comments Off on Best Fiction of 2017 | Tags: * · December 2017

November Issue of Aeqai Online

The November issue of Aeqai has just posted. Please click here to view the new issue.

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Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s “A Kind of Freedom”

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s debut novel, ” A Kind of Freedom”, is powerful, sensitive, all too human.  The author follows three generations of an African-American family living in New Orleans; the first generation is part of what was once described as a “high yellow” elite in that city, describing the light skin tones preferred by this […]

Read | Comments Off on Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s “A Kind of Freedom” | Tags: November 2017

Eleanor Hender’s “Ten Thousand Saints”

Eleanor Henderson’s debut novel, “Ten Thousand Saints”, was one of the best novels of about three years ago.  Henderson has an amazing talent, first and foremost, as a storytelling, at which she truly excels.   She’s returned with her second triumph, “The Twelve-Mile Straight”, a long but hugely compelling novel about life in Cotton County, Georgia, […]

Read | Comments Off on Eleanor Hender’s “Ten Thousand Saints” | Tags: November 2017

October Issue of Aeqai Online

The October issue of Aeqai has just posted, and it’s our largest issue to date.  We’ve added Boston to the cities we’re covering, and, in the next few months, New York will regularly be covered, though the majority of our reviews continue to be in/of the Greater Cincinnati region.  And Seattle is back in our […]

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Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing”

Jesmyn Ward, whose National Book Award winning novel “Savage the Bones”, took the literary world by storm, has returned with her equally powerful new novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing”.  Centering almost entirely around one African-American family living nearly self-sufficiently in a tiny town in Mississippi–the author herself lives in such a town–the novel rotates points of […]

Read | Comments Off on Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing” | Tags: October 2017

Alice McDermott’s “The Ninth Hour”

A new novel by Alice McDermott is always a major literary event in America.  The territory that she covers in most of her novels, Catholic America, mainly on the East Coast, from the twenties and thirties to the present, is what she mainly writes about, and she does that as well as anyone alive in […]

Read | Comments Off on Alice McDermott’s “The Ninth Hour” | Tags: October 2017

Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere”

Celeste Ng’s new novel, Little Fires Everywhere, is the worst, most offensive novel I’ve read in a very, very long time.  Much praised for her earlier novels, Ng, one would have hoped, continue to show her growing promise as a writer, but Little Fires Everywhere is little more than a revenge fantasy  novel on the […]

Read | Comments Off on Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” | Tags: October 2017

Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach”

Jennifer Egan’s back with her eminently readable, if flawed, new novel “Manhattan Beach”.  She’s one of America’s absolutely finest younger writers, along with Rachel Cusk, Rachel Kushner, Nathan Englander (some might include Celeste Ng in this group).  What all these writers have in common is an uncanny ability to imagine and to write; their prose […]

Read | Comments Off on Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach” | Tags: October 2017

September Issue of Aeqai Online

As the fall season really heats up, both the number of exhibitions soars, and the number of high quality ones appear as well.  Aeqai’s September issue attempts to do justice to so many fine shows which have opened both regionally and nationally (and internationally, in one case) in September.  We’re offering a big issue this month. […]

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Familiar Connections at Miller Gallery

The Miller Gallery in Hyde Park closes a wonderful landscape show on September 29, 2017. The work of three artists is included in the show, though the work of Santa Fe artist Rich Stevens dominates; the other work is complementary to Stevens’, but overall, the paintings on display all have something of an Asian influence in […]

Read | Comments Off on Familiar Connections at Miller Gallery | Tags: September 2017

Mathias Enard’s “Compass”

Compass, a long and erudite novel by Mathias Enard, is the surprise novel of the summer.  Winner of the most prestigious French Prix Goncourt, named for the two Goncourt brothers who lived around the time of Proust, and known for their extreme aestheticism (and, alas, for their anti-Semitism) and magnificent taste in literature, Compass is […]

Read | Comments Off on Mathias Enard’s “Compass” | Tags: September 2017

Tom Perrotta’s “Mrs. Fletcher”

Tom Perrotta is the most contemporary of American writers chronicling life in the American suburbs, a distinguished tradition in American fiction that probably starts with John O’Hara, runs through John Updike, and continues with and through Perrotta (this month’s review of Cynthia Osborne’s new novel Fall Tides runs parallel to Perrotta’s book; hers takes place […]

Read | Comments Off on Tom Perrotta’s “Mrs. Fletcher” | Tags: September 2017

Gabriel Tallent’s “My Absolute Darling”

 There’s been a huge amount of positive, excited build-up towards the publication of “My Absolute Darling”, a new novel by a new writer, Gabriel Tallent (who is aptly named). One often is concerned by marketing hype these days, as there’s so much of it, and the product rarely lives up to its advance billing. “My […]

Read | Comments Off on Gabriel Tallent’s “My Absolute Darling” | Tags: September 2017

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