PRINT December 2017

Books: Best of 2017

Rebekah Rutkoff

“In Russia, the inability to live up to one’s dreams of self . . . seems to have released a particular form of male sadness, traced with disappointment and violence, humming under everything, blooming like radon from the dusty ground.” In Nicholas Muellner’s hefty and sumptuous picture book In Most Tides an Island (Self Publish, Be Happy Editions), moving narratives of the author’s encounters with closeted gay men in the remote provinces of Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea are intercut with a fictional vision of vivid-dreamer Isabel, who lives on an unnamed Caribbean island. Muellner, a photographer and a cofounder of the Image Text Ithaca MFA program at Ithaca College and its associated press, writes with a tenderly fused restraint and passion, a style perfectly attuned to the book’s investigation of the psychic skin that keeps one consciousness separate from another. Muellner’s

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