Elayne Clift

Elayne Clift is a writer, journalist, and adjunct professor in the humanities at several New England colleges. She is also senior correspondent for the India-based news syndicate Women’s Feature Service, and a regular columnist for the Keene (NH) Sentinel and the Brattleboro Commons.
Ms. Clift’s latest book is ACHAN: A Year of Teaching in Thailand (Bangkok Books, 2007). She has just completed her first novel, Hester’s Daughters, a contemporary, feminist retelling of The Scarlet Letter, and she is currently working on a book about doula-supported birth in the US. She lives in Saxtons River, VT.

Book Reviews by Elayne Clift

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Vaddey Ratner’s second novel about the horrors of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and the price survivors pay is the story of Teera, a now-American woman who returns to her native country for the fi

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". . . Schlink’s brilliance as a contemplative writer. . ."

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". . . a gripping historical novel . . ."

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Emily Robbins has written a lyrical story about love in nearly all of its manifestations.

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If every journalist wrote like Patrick Kingsley, more people would likely be reading the critical nonfiction books of our time.

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In Melanie Wallace’s third novel, her first in hardback by a major publisher, Olive Kitteridge meets Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, both interpreted by Alice Munro.

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With this enticing debut novel Imbolo Mbue demonstrates that she knows her stuff as a storyteller, a native Cameroonian, and a New Yorker.

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Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun is an award-winning internationally bestselling author who has been regularly shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, among others.

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Meredith Tax is to be commended for her thorough and well-documented book about the history and politics of a region of the world most people know very little about.

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French writer Clelie Avit, recipient of the Prix Nouveau Talent, shows promise in her first novel, yet she still has a way to go before realizing her full potential.

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quickly read but not easily forgotten. It’s a lovely story . . .”

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This highly readable novel based on a fictional masterwork by J. S.

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It is this kind of insight . . . that makes [Traister’s] important work a significant addition to the literature of sociology and women’s studies.”

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Elizabeth Nunez’s latest novel, a retelling of the tragedy King Lear set against a contemporary Caribbean landscape, takes place on the islands of Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad, exactly

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“[S]he wrote, ‘I do not desire ecstatic, disembodied sainthood . . . I would be human, and American, and a woman.’”

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The first thing to be said about this intriguing historical novel is that it ranks high among the “must read” list of debut works.

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Editor Meredith Maran’s latest book, which follows her previous collection, Why We Write, gathers together the thoughts of Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others)

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Gloria Steinem is the consummate writer, observer, and political analyst when it comes to exploring issues through the lens of gender.

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"This story of . . . struggle . . . is both brave and original."

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When Erica Jong’s groundbreaking novel, Fear of Flying, was published in 1973, it rocked the world.

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“riveting, finely wrought . . . not . . . easily forgotten . . .”

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“urgent and unforgettable . . .”

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a richly imagined, well-written story full of historical realities and peopled with unique characters . . .”

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“many readers who reach for this latest offering are likely to be disappointed.”

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In this enticing historical novel about the French designer Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf meets Maria Duenas’s heroine in the well-received and compelling 2014 novel, The Time In Between.

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“Beautiful writing . . .”

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Nazila Fathi is a woman of courage. She is also a very good writer.

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“. . . a rare work of deep reflection, imbued with a sense of what is right, even when one struggles for identity and meaning.

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“. . . there is something sad rather than enlightening about this ‘not-quite-memoir’ from a much loved, observant, feisty but fatigued writer.”

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“. . . Carla Kaplan has given us and history a great gift.”

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“Even though sex sells, the respectable HarperCollins should have known better than to go with this cash cow.”

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“. . . a decidedly New York book . . . well crafted for the most part and worth reading, despite its disappointing passages and missed opportunities.”

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“Like our protagonist, we hope to soar to new heights, to conquer our fears, to land where we belong.

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“A Lethal Inheritance: A Mother Uncovers the Science Behind Three Generations of Mental Illness should be read with a healthy dose of caution and not as a single-source reference o

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“despite everything, our sympathies remain clearly and profoundly with Blanca, regardless of her culminating acts.

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“This family is so real, so understandable, so in need of comfort each in their own way, that we want to embrace them in their grief, applaud their reconciliations, and learn from their lov

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“Yoani Sanchez is a remarkable woman.”

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Smuggled is a good read that reveals how history can impact individual lives.”

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What is the place of place in our lives? More specifically, what is the place of place in our romantic lives?

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Near-death experiences (NDE) are fascinating.