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.

“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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Cynthia Hoskin’s “Fall’s Bright Flame”

Disclaimer:  Cynthia Hoskin is a good friend of mine.   I read the novel “Fall Tides” this summer, in galley form, and wrote a review for it, unsolicited, at that time. The novel’s now been published, and Ms. Hoskin has used my review as the Prologue to the novel.   I saw no reason ,however, not to […]

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July/August 2017 Aeqai Online

The summer (July/August) issue of aeqai has just posted. We have an excellent mix of exhibitions from this region, and others from around the country.   Jonathan Kamholtz reviews two major exhibitions for aeqai this month, The Folk Art in America show at The Cincinnati Art Museum, and the British paintings exhibition from the Berger […]

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Francis Spufford’s “Golden Hill”

One of this summer’s surprise best novels is Francis Spufford’s “Golden Hill”, subtitled ” A Novel of Old New York”.  My main book -reading friend, Kevin Ott, recommended it to me and it’s sheer delight, brilliantly researched, both funny and astute, and ultimately deadly serious.  New York in l746 was a very small town of seven thousand […]

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Richard Ford’s “Between Them”

Richard Ford is one of America’s greatest living writers.  I think that his trilogy of novels, The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Let Me Be Frank with You, all featuring the central character Frank Bascombe, are second only to John Updike’s “Rabbit” novels for sheer excellence in writing and the creation of such a quintessential American […]

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Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness”

Arundhati Roy’s second work of fiction, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, is a triumph.  (Her first novel, The God of Small Things, won the prestigious Booker Prize; her other published writings are all nonfiction).  I’ve been rather surprised at some of the negative comments on The Ministry.  Roy is perhaps difficult to categorize as a […]

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Allegra Goodman’s “The Chalk Artist”

The world of video games, I suppose inevitably, has begun to seep into both the fine arts and into contemporary literature.  Typically, with any new American technical innovation/ addiction, video games come with reams of theory on why they are excellent aids in education and the like; there’s a sociologist and/or psychologist to bless every […]

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May/June Issue of Aeqai Online

The May/June issue of aeqai has just posted.  As we get into the summer months, a lot of aeqai’s writers travel around the world, and we’re pleased to offer reviews from other cities besides the ones we normally cover.  We think that our May/June issue is replete with exceptional reviews and features. Michael Scheurer , one […]

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Kayla Rae Whitaker’s “The Animators”

Zoom to your nearest bookstore or library and get ahold of The Animators, by Kayla Rae Whitaker, as it’s by far the best debut novel of 2017.  Ebulliently written and full of the kind of energy that big cities seem to generate in people,  Whitaker presents two young women, both of whom are from rural backgrounds, […]

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Pajtim Statovici’s “My Cat Yugoslavia”

Another intriguing and often brilliant debut novel, Pajtim Statovci’s My Cat Yugoslavia is particularly timely and topical as it deals with the dislocations of immigration. The novel has two different narrators, which is a fascinating literary trope: one is (at first) a young, marriageable woman in a small Serbian town in the former Yugoslavia, and the other […]

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April Issue of Aeqai Online

Aeqai’s back with its April issue, and we apologize that we’re about l0 days late.  My computer broke for awhile–a few of this month’s columns were actually meant to be posted last month–and then I had to go on medical leave for about six weeks, but I’m back.  I think our new issue is well worth […]

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Kate Carlson’s Running

Kate Carlson’s “Running” is a beautifully sparely written, nearly minimalist, narrative about three young Western on the run in Athens, Greece. They are two men, who are gay, and one woman, all around twenty years old, one man from upper class England, who literally walks out of Eton one day, and meets up with a lower […]

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Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises

Margaret Drabble is one of England’s finest novelists, along with her equally brilliant novelist sister, A. S. Byatt, although they don’t seem to speak to one another at all.  Somehow, having come to Byatt first, all of whose novels I’ve read and which astonish in their brilliance and quality, I seemed to believe it to be […]

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Parisa Reza’s The Gardens of Consolation

Parisa Reza’s novel The Gardens of Consolation is one of the most beautifully written of the year to date.  The Iranian Reza examines the life of a young couple, newly betrothed (the woman is all of 12, the man many years her senior), living in an obscure town in the far Western part of Iran, nearly […]

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March Issue of Aeqai Online

Since the Editor Daniel Brown’s computer stopped working on Friday, March 17, we are simply notifying our readers that the March issue of Aeqai has now posted.  Columns that were not included in this month’s issue will appear in our April issue.  Check www.aeqai.com/main  to go directly to the new issue.

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The Return to Beauty: Asian Influences on Contemporary Landscape Art

Chinese and Japanese art come from radically different traditions and assumptions than Western art. “Chinese painters are always painting essences, not likenesses,” according to Curator Daniel Brown. Because Asian art looks for essences and is highly reductive, artists radically reduce the visual information included in their work to the barest of essentials. In this sense, […]

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Paul Auster’s “4 3 2 1”

Paul Auster’s 886 page new novel, titled ” 4 3 2 1″, may well be an American masterpiece. Skipping early American literature, which I often find tough sledding, I believe that America’s greatest writers, after Willa Cather, Edith Wharton and Henry James and later, John Dos Posos and F. Scott Fitzgerald, appeared after World War […]

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January/February 2017 Issue of Aeqai Online

Aeqai’s back with a double issue, January/February, 2016, and the new issue has just posted.  We hope that you’ll find our slight increase in cultural criticism and some theoretical articles appealing, as we do, as we plan to increase posting articles like these.  Jack Wood, a printmaker of increasing renown, sent us, by request, an essay […]

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“The Dispossessed” by Szilard Borbely

The grinding dailiness of poverty is so well delineated in Szilard Borbely’s novel The Dispossessed, that we realize that we may have become inured to the sufferings of other people (once known as “compassion overload” a couple of presidential cycles ago).  This Hungarian novel swept that country by surprise; it takes place as Communism took […]

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“Transit” by Rachel Cusk

If you haven’t yet discovered the young English writer Rachel Cusk, I urge you to do so.  Last year’s offering from her , Outline,  was just a shard less spectacular than her just released new novel Transit (note the use of single words as her titles: her writing’s as spare as those one words, with […]

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December Issue of Aeqai Online

The December issue of aeqai has just posted, and it’s a very eclectic group of columns we have for our readers this month.  I’m hoping to move aeqai into the field of cultural criticism, as well as art criticism, and we have a couple of splendid examples of that larger look at the culture this […]

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Best Fiction of 2016

2016 has been one of the best years for fiction in quite a number of years.  The ongoing globalization of literature continues, with superb writers now emerging from all over the world.  The range of subject matter and writing styles has rarely been as varied as this year’s, and, although I am limiting my list […]

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Aeqai Fundraiser 2016

These works of art are for sale. Place your bid through email with Cedric Michael Cox at cedricmichaelcox@cedricmichaelcox.com so we can keep you posted. Thanks for your support!                                  

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October/November Issue of Aeqai

The visual arts in Greater Cincinnati have been dominated this fall by the third biennial celebration of photography/lens based art, so that a large number of our reviews in this October/November aeqai  are of photography shows, of which there have been a plethora, generating much discussion about the medium itself and giving area viewers the […]

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Tribute to Fran Watson

Greater Cincinnati has lost one of its true Renaissance minds, with the death of Fran Watson at the end of October.   A regular critic for aeqai, I’d known and worked with Fran for nearly forty years, and admired her as much as any writer/art critic I’ve known in my own long career as writer/critic.  And […]

Stefan Hertmans’ War and Turpentine

A surprise novel of immense depth, Stefan Hertmans’ War and Turpentine is Proustian in its evocation of both memory itself and of a writer’s ability to keep it alive, or, in Proust’s word, regained.  A man living in our own times finds two longish diaries written by his own grandfather, along with a number of […]

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Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn

Jacqueline Woodson, a young African-American writer mainly noted for her children’s books, has written a flawless book for adults called Another Brooklyn.  The novel follows the fortunes of four African-American girls, at first pre-pubescent, and then as adolescents, in the mostly poverty-laden streets of a part of Brooklyn in the ’80s. By using the trope […]

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Early Fall Issue of Aeqai Online

We’ve combined two issues of Aeqai, late-August and all of September, in order to offer you the best selection of reviews and profiles for the beginning of the art season here and nationally, so it’s a very large issue.  And we wanted to accomodate some of the early exhibitions under the FotoFocus banner; those shows […]

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Sol Kjok Joins Forces in Her Search for Universal Truths

We met Sol Kjok in the early 1990s when she was a grad student at UC, in fine arts, though she already had an advanced degree in European literature: her art, then, focused on the metaphor of the circus, life lived on a flying trapeze, lived swinging in and through the air; her figures often […]

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Annie Proulx’s “Barkskins”

Annie Proulx’s latest novel is large and long, but entirely riveting–if you read it, you’ll be amazed at how rapidly it zooms by.  It may be the essentialist novel about the environment, and it succeeds on virtually every level.  Her short story, “Brokeback Mountain”, was made into a movie that brought her much fame; her […]

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Yaa Gyasi’s “Homecoming”

Yaa Gyasi’s Homecoming is an exceptionally fine debut novel from a young, African-American writer originally from Ghana, but now living in The United States.  Gyasi, like Annie Proulx, uses the alluring and appealing trope of the family saga in an epic sweep of a novel.  Since she addresses some very tough topics–the novel begins in […]

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Jay McInerney’s “Bright, Precious Days”

Ever since Jay McInerney wrote “Bright Lights, Big City”, I’ve wondered whether his was a minor talent, or possibly a major one.  When he began what’s really a series of novels around the lives of Russell and Corrine Calloway, New Yorkers wrapped up in the intellectual life of the city, it became clear that McInerney […]

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Donald Ray Pollock’s “The Heavenly Table”

Donald Ray Pollock, who’s from rural Appalachian Ohio, began to write fiction after nearly 35 years as a laborer and/or truck driver.  His writing has achieved national acclaim, and deservedly at that.  His story collection, Knockemstiff (named for the booze made in the hills of Appalachia), was remarkable, and his current novel, The Heavenly Table, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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