Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ancillary Review of Books

Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ben Berman Ghan

Under Review:
Sea of Tranquility. Emily St. John Mandel. Knopf, April 5, 2022.

Within Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, time is a mountain you climb, callouses forming along tired and bloody fingers, giddy from the knowledge a long fall might await you, dread building. However, when at last you reach the peak, you find your toughened hands the perfect tools for descent. Climbing back down again can be done with confidence, enmeshed in the surety that soft ground awaits, and everything that was once unknown can now be seen with comfortable perspective and clarity.

This isMandel’s sixth novel, building on the themes and premises of Station Eleven(2014) and The Glass Hotel(2020). Its connection to those previous works is sometimes deeply meaningful, and sometimes only…

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Thick fear spoiled above the oily rooftops. A sterile and orderly world gave way to a teeming swamp. Wildness took root in the heart of thingsPerhaps, there was no after Crisis, but only deceptive periods of rest, where apocalypse dozed and waited until we believed in something called normal again. Excerpt from “After Crisis” Enjoy … Continue reading After Crisis – short story for the holidays

Untangling the Cassette (At Audible.com)

When I was tiny, I still read before I could read. In the dark and under blankets, voices whispered from foamy, tinny speakers, telling me of other worlds, pirates, monsters, and talking mice.  Then everything would go "ssshhhhhwipwip," and I'd have to spend ten minutes or so reaching into the bowels of the sony walkman, desperate … Continue reading Untangling the Cassette (At Audible.com)

March (again?) again – poems and nominations

Greetings from isolation! I can confess that I've been doing a terrible job keeping things up to date since the new year, but in fairness, I've haven't really had that much to say other than "Work in progress". But now I do have a few things to announce, so here I am. Firstly, I am … Continue reading March (again?) again – poems and nominations