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Washington Post, New York Times review new book by MFA graduate

Jackie Polzin at a reading in Boise
Jackie Polzin at a reading at Rediscovered Books in Boise. Photo provided by Mitch Wieland.

Both papers reviewed “Brood,” the new book by Jackie Polzin, a 2018 graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program.

For the Washington Post, Jennifer Reese wrote: “Through one subzero Minnesota winter and the spring and sweltering summer that follow, the unnamed narrator of Jackie Polzin’s wondrous first novel, “Brood,” does nothing you’d expect would make for an exciting read: She thinks about baking brownies (but doesn’t), thinks about bickering with her husband (but doesn’t), thinks about cleaning the bathroom (and does), visits her mother, mourns a miscarriage, babysits a friend’s child and lies in bed in the morning “listening to the sharp pops of the house as it shifted…Some novelists floodlight the world; Polzin uses a penlight to beautifully illuminate the least glamorous corners of a quotidian life and the maintenance they require.”

Read the full review on the Washington Post website.

Elizabeth McCracken reviewed “Brood” for the New York Times. Read the review on the New York Times website.

“Brood” was Polzin’s thesis here at Boise State under the direction of Brady Udall. Polzin also studied with Denis Johnson and Joy Williams when they were Visiting Distinguished Writers. After “Brood” sold to Doubleday in 2020, the novel was part of a six publisher bidding war in the United Kingdom.

“It’s been quite rewarding to see such an enthusiastic response to her novel,” said Mitch Wieland, a professor of creative writing and editor of The Idaho Review. “Jackie certainly makes Boise State proud.”