Thomas Israel Hopkins

  • Pandora in the Congo

    Marcus Garvey is not Marcus Garvey. That is, Albert Sánchez Piñol’s Marcus Garvey—half-Balkan servant to two well-heeled, good-for-nothing British brothers and African explorers—resembles the Jamaican black nationalist in name only. The Garvey of Pandora in the Congo is thrown into a London prison just before the Great War, accused of murdering the brothers during their Congolese adventure. His lawyer, Edward Norton, bears no relation to the Fight Club actor. The novel’s narrator, Tommy Thomson, has nothing to do with 2008 presidential candidate Tommy Thompson or with either of Tintin’s

  • Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth

    Myers, the hapless, briefcase-toting nine-to-fiver of Deb Olin Unferth’s debut novel, Vacation, wonders why his wife has suddenly started coming home late from work “mussed” and “ruddy.” When he begins leaving his office at the end of each day, going to her office, and following her, he discovers that she is indeed cheating on him—albeit only emotionally. She’s been coming home late because she leaves work, goes to yet another office, and follows a strange man, who, coincidentally, is an acquaintance of Myers’s from college.

    Myers’s wife, who is never named, is drawn to the “quiet, sad dignity”