Saturday, November 29, 2008

Doctor Olaf in the New York Times Book Review

Francesca Mari reviews Doctor Olaf for the New York Times' Sunday Book Review:
Science is an elixir that sweeps characters under its spell. Yet the pace of [DOCTOR OLAF VAN SCHULER’S BRAIN] is driven as much, if not more, by the reader’s romantic appetite—by an itch to discover how each story is romantically resolved and connected to the long lineage.

To read the entire review, see Annals of Malpractice

Monday, November 24, 2008

Barnes & Noble Review shines the spotlight on Olaf

David Abrams writes about Doctor Olaf for the "Spotlight" section of this week's Barnes & Noble Review:

Menger-Anderson has not only done her research -- deftly documenting three centuries of medical quackery -- but she also knows how to weave a tale. She holds the reader spellbound from the first slice into a corpse's brain to the final probe of genetic research.

To read the full review, see the Barnes & Noble Review

Doctor Olaf in St Louis Post-Dispatch

Dale Singer reviews Doctor Olaf for the St Louis Post-Dispatch

In the fertile imagination of Kirsten Menger-Anderson, one after another of the descendants in the Steenwycks clan confront the medical miseries and mysteries of their day: animal magnetism, spontaneous combustion, neurasthenia, then the more modern maladies of polio, the side effects of breast implants and finally Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: mad cow... Readers will find Menger-Anderson's presentation of the case fascinating, but only rarely can the physicians heal themselves.

To read the entire review, see "Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Doctor Olaf in Sunday's Chicago Sun Times

Mark Athitakis reviews Doctor Olaf for the Sunday Chicago Sun-Times:
An ingenious and appealing collection of linked stories. . . . Menger-Anderson brings a writerly order to the messiness of our minds.

To read the complete review, see Quackery rears deadly head in family-linked collection

Olaf in Santa Cruz Sentinel

Chris Watson takes a look at Doctor Olaf in Book Briefs for the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Within a highly atmospheric framework the ghosts of Robert Louis Stevenson, Washington Irving and Mark Twain haunt the stories, Menger-Anderson delicately angles toward a cautionary tale for the modern world

To read the complete review, see First, do no harm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Olaf in the SF Chronicle

Vanessa Hua reviews Doctor Olaf for today's San Francisco Chronicle:
A fascinating kaleidoscope ride across generations of physicians and their patients. The writing is vivid and entertaining, revealing lifetimes and worldviews in a few carefully chosen details. . . . The author's zest for the historical details shines throughout the collection.. . . . In this quirky, moving collection, Menger-Anderson illustrates the power of medicine - and family.

To read the entire review, see Hysteria, insanity--it's all in the family

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm a local author!

I admit that I have a habit of facing books by people I know. I love doing it, plus, I always get a bit of a rush, "sneaking" through the store aisles like a shoplifter or petty criminal, looking for titles to turn out to the world.

My friend William took the art of facing a step further, approaching the staff of a local Books Inc and asking for a "local author" tag for the book. How cool is that?! And here is a picture!

Olaf in The Brooklyn Rail

Ben Mirov reviews Doctor Olaf for The Brooklyn Rail:
"An array of arresting, thoughtful, and touching moments."

To read the entire review, see the November Prose Roundup.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Odd Shelf" on

Today's Odd Shelf on features my selection of tomes concerning South American rainforests (books that also happen to be sitting on my desk). Looking for an adventure set along the Amazon River? Curious about Peace Corp life in Ecuador? Hoping to find some nice pictures of Honduran White Bats? Now you know where to go!

TALK SHOW 19: Doubting Thomas

Jaime Clarke talks to me, David Ebershoff, Sheridan Hay, Amy MacKinnon, and Roxana Robinson on the subject of doubt: "whether the printed book is 'dead,' whether there’s an afterlife? a God? the validity of the effectiveness of disinfectant wipes and other would be illusions looming on the horizon."

Read the show!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Interview by Scott Doyle

Scott Doyle interviews me on his blog, Lit Scribbler. Questions range from social unrest, to the role of women in the book, to moral ambiguity. The interview is the first in his project to present interviews with authors featured in the New Short Fiction Series, where Doctor Olaf will be appearing on the evening of November 14. Please see the calendar for more information about the event.

Doctor O in the Richmond Times

Special correspondent Doug Childers reviews Doctor Olaf for the Richmond Times:
Kirsten Menger-Anderson's strikingly original "Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain" explores so many fascinating topics -- among them, animal magnetism, phrenology and spontaneous combustion -- that it might be best to begin with what it is not.

Although it follows several generations of a single family from 1664 to 2006, Menger-Anderson's book is not a doorstop-sized epic. It leaps across the centuries in a mere 290 pages.

To read the rest of the review: A spellbinding meditation on medicine and madness