Reviews: 2022 National Book Award Winner & Finalists For Fiction

“The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty book cover, featuring a hot pink background with a cutout showing an illustration of a woman inside.

Winner: “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty

Set during an oppressively hot week in July, this contemporary coming-of-age novel is about four teens who have aged out of the foster care system and are living together in a once-bustling industrial city in Indiana. As one of the teens tries to escape the people and systems that have harmed her, this novel shines as a story about community and loneliness, cumulating with a devastating act of violence. “The Rabbit Hutch” is Tess Gunty’s debut novel and she was one of three authors nominated this year for their first published book.

Fiction Finalists

“The Birdcatcher” by Gayl Jones

Called “a study in Black women’s creative expression,” “The Birdcatcher” is told from the perspective of writer Amanda Wordlaw whose best friend is being repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill her husband. Jones was first discovered and edited by Toni Morrison and her last novel, “Palmares,” was a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories” by Jamil Jan Kochai

This collection of short stories explores heritage, home, and the ghosts of war, with elements of horror, magical realism, and more woven throughout the anthology. With unforgettable Afghan characters, these stories range from the connection between a young man’s video game and his father’s real memories of war to a doctor couple that decides to stay in their home even as violence grows and their son disappears.

“All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sneha is a queer Indian woman who has just graduated from college into a recession and moved to Milwaukee to start an entry-level corporate job that offers the financial security she needs, opening more doors than ever before. But as challenges rise and her world begins to spin out of control, Sneha throws herself into a new relationship while her friend tries to find a radical solution to their problems.

“The Town of Babylon” by Alejandro Varela

In the wake of his husband’s infidelity, Andrés returns to his hometown and decides to go to his 20-year high school reunion, rekindling old friendships and reuniting with an old love. As he cares for his aging parents, navigates his old neighborhood, and revisits old friends, Andrés must face old wounds, systems, and people who shaped his life in many different ways.

Himalaya Hikes: 100 Miles On Mount Manaslu, Nepal

Kraig Adams – Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 metres above sea level. It is in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. The name Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit” and is derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul”.

Video timeline: 00:00 Introduction 3:53 Kathmandu sightseeing tour and trek preparation day 7:23 9 hour drive to Machha Khola 930 m / 3,051 ft 9:28 Day 1 – 15 km / 9.3 mi to Jagat 1,410 m / 4,625ft 14:02 Day 2 – 19 km / 11.8 mi to Deng 1,800 m /5,905 ft 18:26 Day 3 – 9.5 km / 6 mi to Ghap 2,160 m/ 7,086 ft 22:30 Day 4 – 16 km / 10 mi to Lho 2630 m / 8626ft 26:47 Day 5 – 7 km / 4.3 mi to Samagaon 3,530 m / 11,581ft 31:08 Day 6 – Acclimatization day hike to Manaslu Basecamp 4,800 m / 15,748ft 34:33 Day 7 – 8 km / 5 mi to Samdo 3,690m / 12,106ft 37:36 Day 8 – 6 km / 3.7 mi to Larkya Rest House 4,470 m / 14,665 ft 41:42 Day 9 – 15 km / 9.3 mi to Bimthang over Larkya Pass 5,160 m/ 16,929 ft 46:16 Day 10 – 21 km / 13 mi to Dharapani 1,860 m / 6,102 ft 50:05 5 hour drive to Besisahar 1,881 m / 6171 ft 52:19 Behind the scenes and hiking guide

Travel: A Tour Of The 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes

Norwegian Scenic Routes are 18 selected roads that run through landscapes with unique natural qualities, along coasts and fjords, mountains and waterfalls. The routes are intended as alternatives to the main roads, and the drive itself should be an enjoyable experience.

Home Tours: The ‘Dolphin Sands Studio’ In Tasmania

The Local Project – At the end of an undulating path is Dolphin Sands Studio, a small cabin that floats atop the dunes and looks out to The Hazards mountain range and the Peninsula beyond. From the open deck of the cabin, the doors open up to the main living spaces of the studio cabin.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Tiny Cabin on a Hidden Beach 00:31 – The Location of Dolphin Sands 00:45 – A Walkthrough and Around the Cabin 01:04 – The Spacial Components 01:24 – Conceived as a View Finder 01:59 – Utilising as Few Materials as Possible 02:20 – Room for Two 02:48 – Providing Protection 03:05 – The Triangular Form 03:28 – The Architects Proud Moments

Consisting of a kitchen, living space and bedroom – with an adjacent bathroom – the cabin home holds everything the occupants need in one space. Located on a hidden beach in Tasmania, Australia, Dolphin Sands Studio by Matt Williams Architects has been conceived as a viewfinder – giving the occupants unmatched views across the bay. Completing the architecture and interior design, the architect worked alongside the builder to consider how the triangular form of the remote cabin could embrace its surroundings.

This was done by employing a large south-southeast facing window and using as few materials as possible to create a calm space for the occupants. Built on an exposed site, Dolphin Bay Studio embraces its surroundings by inserting itself as one with the landscape. Conceived as a solid tent, the cabin home allows for protection from the elements while maintaining an immediacy with the landscape.

Employing sustainable materials, Matt Williams Architects establishes that the materials work in tune with the weather while not taking away from the experience of living in the unique beach cabin. Capturing the golden sunrise every morning, the position of the cabin home allows the occupants to completely embrace the spectacular views and become one with the community. Though Dolphin Sands Studio is small in scale, the location and proximity to the bay brings external space for the occupants to enjoy.

With a desire to reduce the impact on the terrain, as well as flora and fauna, the architect and builder created a minimally impactful home that inserts itself into the bay. Also offering an escape from the worries of everyday life and the bustling cityscape, the cabin is a uniquely designed home that considers more than its occupants. With an offer of serenity, sustainability and waterside living, Dolphin Bay Studio pushes towards what is possible when designing and living sustainably.

Views: Architecture Today Magazine – Nov/Dec 2022

AT September-October 2022 Front Cover

Architecture Today – November-December 2022:

View the digital edition

Isabel Allen’s Editorial for AT322 discusses how the Architecture Today Awards subverted the traditional role of the crit, transforming it into powerful tool for judging the merits and performance of buildings that already exist.

Buildings.

A sharp, trapezoidal marquee hoisted on spindly pilot is points the way towards the primary pedestrian entrance on the long eastern front.

Autumn Walks: Naples In Southwestern Italy (4K)

Naples, or Napoli for Italians, is a major port city in the south of Italy in the Campania region. With 4.4 million inhabitants (‘Neapolitans’), it is the third largest city in Italy. The chaotic city has everything for an inspiring city trip because of the rich history, the Italian cuisine and especially in the field of art and culture, the city has a lot to offer. In addition, a short distance from the city of Naples are famous places of interest such as PompeiiHerculaneum and the Vesuvius volcano. South of the city lies the colorful and beautiful coastal strip of the Amalfi Coast and you can easily reach the beautiful islands such as Capri off the coast of Naples by ferry. 

Front Page: The New York Times – November 22, 2022

‘He Saved a Lot of Lives’: Combat Veteran Tackled Colorado Gunman

The quick actions of a retired army major and a drag performer in high heels took down the gunman before he reached a crowded patio.

On the River at Night, Ambushing Russians

Ukrainian units plying the Dnipro River venture behind enemy lines under the cover of darkness, carrying out reconnaissance and sabotage.

Why States Were Unprepared for the Sports-Betting Onslaught

Government oversight of sports betting offers scant consumer protections and looks to the industry to police itself, The Times found.