Thank you, East Bay Express

Here’s a taste of Stefanie Kalem’s thoughtful review of Among the Wonderful in the East Bay Express.

“[Carlson’s] portrait of mid-19th-century New York is as finely hatched as any, with gritty Five Points teeming with malice and child neglect and society ladies kicking off suffrage meetings with spiritualist sessions. But what draws you in are her two narrators, each fumbling their way toward the rest of humanity, toward what is wonderful about being part of the world. Among warring Native American tribes, a ‘human calculator,’ and a vast animal menagerie, [Ana] Swift and [Emile] Guillaudeu each sit simmering in their own brand of ‘other,’ she secretly scribbling a memoir and yearning for the days before she sprung to nearly eight feet in height; he mourning lost chances at love and the way the museum once was, a paean to the natural order of things.”