As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I am so excited to read Rene Steinke's Holy Skirts. It's reviewed in the current issue of The Believer:
Fortunately, and perhaps in spite of these generic challenges, where Holy Skirts succeeds most brilliantly (and most truthfully) is in its evocation of the evolution of an artistic self. Elsa’s journey is so clearly rooted in her “wanting to pay closer attention”; her career aspirations and love affairs so completely wedded to her notions of intellect—“a spiritual property, an instinct developed until it comes to one’s consciousness”—that her story, in Steinke’s able hands, becomes less linear than concentric. Although time marches forward, Elsa’s consciousness as a woman and artist ripples and rages towards her very core. In the course of the novel, she becomes more real to both herself and the reader, which makes for the best kind of character-driven page-turner.I think we could all use a little bit of that these days...