Yuvi Zalkow’s second and newest novel, I Only Cry With Emoticons, is a hilarious ride through dealing with human connection in a modern age littered with smartphones, tablets, dating apps, and hashtags. At its core, it’s a story about responsibility. It begs the question, how do we take responsibility for our irresponsible reliance on technology? How do we take responsibility for allowing ourselves to become so disconnected not just with one another, but our own lives?
The sonnet has been given new life. It mulls over existence in loneliness and in the dingy places, people, and pastimes we often overlook. In All of You on the Good Earth, Ernest Hilbert uses this traditional form as a vehicle to tackle the ancient question, what am I doing here? Sometimes the place is real, West Philadelphia or New York, but no matter the setting, the speaker has the same agenda: to observe, to pick apart, to make sense, to come to a conclusion about his surroundings. As humans and as thinkers, this is what we do, Hilbert suggests.