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Leah Hager CohenBy telling us the letters are not in chronological order, by proposing that their contents may be written in code and by indicating places where the writing is illegible, Berger the author invites us to interact with, to co-create, the text, guessing at the meanings of words and phrases, pondering what might have happened in the interval between letters, and imagining the reasons some were never posted. But "invites" is too mild a term, and "co-create" too academic. What he really does is charge the reader with the responsibility to join in…Berger's insistence on the unique, on the particular, prevents the novel from becoming a polemic. He rails against the blind sweep of oppression while keeping his gaze firmly rooted on the human: on human hands, which A'ida sketches over and over again in her letters, and on human longing, which suffuses this work with pain and beauty.
—The New York Times