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Book Reviews

Looking to read more Indiana authors?

Every month, we’re releasing a book review highlighting a new book by a Hoosier author, reviewed by a Hoosier writer. Check back every month for a new recommendation or look for the review in your local paper.

All Book Reviews

Hoosier Latinos: A Century of Struggle, Service, and Success 

There is a classic scene in the 1997 film Selena that encapsulates so well the challenges of identity, particularly in Latino and Hispanic families. As it unfolds, we see an exasperated Abraham Quintanilla (Edward James Olmos) driving their tour bus along a dusty highway, lamenting to his daughter Selena (Jennifer Lopez), “We have to be […]


The Keeper is a book that does so many things, and does them well.     In just over 300 brisk pages, Kelcey Ervick tells nothing less than the story of her life, filtered through the impact of 1971’s Title IX Education Amendment (authored by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh), which prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools, and had […]

Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir

Trying to explain Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir yields an exercise in lists: the places and people Iliana Regan has rooted herself to, (mis)adventures in childhood and the height of the pandemic, the forest creatures roaming near the remote Michigan cabin she shares with her wife, items she’s foraged (edible and otherwise). At its core, though, […]

Year of the Tiger

Born and raised in Indiana, Alice Wong has written a book that diverges from what one might call a “typical” memoir. However, that difference is deliberate. “I decided to write a memoir at this age—” she writes, “the age I was never supposed to reach, during a time I was never supposed to occupy” (xiii). […]

All Good People Here

True crime aficionado and podcaster Ashley Flowers understands that small towns harbor secrets and that most of the people inhabiting those towns hide secrets of their own. Over time, however, tightly held secrets tend to dry up, turn to dust, and scatter to the distant corners of the locals’ diminishing collective memory, thus freeing them […]

The Islands

Short stories can be like their own small islands, the peaks of different lives emerging as if from the ocean or the fog. In The Islands, a new short story collection from University of Notre Dame professor Dionne Irving, the characters are spread across oceans and continents, all connected to the island of Jamaica. Immigrants […]

Small Marvels

Once, walking in the woods near dusk, I came upon a stand of pine trees and stopped short. The trees were blue. Blue. Over the years, I’ve stood before a painting of water lilies by Monet so long that the colors on the canvas and began to move. Watched shafts of evening sunlight fall through […]

Letters from Michiana

For 15 years, I worked with David Hoppe at NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis. It was a halcyon time as one of my weekly editorial tasks was being on the receiving end of a brand new column by Hoppe. In the late 1990s these pieces were delivered via a hard plastic floppy disc — you know, […]

Arab Indianapolis

I was born in the Middle East and Arabic was my first language. I am a proud Arab American of Palestinian-Jordanian descent, and I have lived most of my life in Central Indiana. I consider Indiana to be home, as much as I also consider Jordan to be home. Growing up Arab in the United […]

African Americans in Indianapolis

I was born and raised in Indianapolis. It is my home. I have spent my entire adult life researching and celebrating African American history in the city. This has meant walking the streets of downtown Indianapolis, in particular Indiana Avenue, visiting the Walker Theatre for a discussion or performance or leading a tour in Ransom […]