—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"I know of no other recent novel that explores the confusions of male bisexuality, if that's what we can call it, with such sympathy and intelligence; its only rival on the subject is probably Cheever's journal. Recent History is unhurried in its rhythms, unfussy and clear in its prose style, an under-known achievement of contemporary American fiction"
- Philip Connors, London Review of Books

"Graceful...(Giardina) manages to handle an enormous amount of emotional material with a light touch... The novel makes a convincing case that the paths of desire are not only many and varied but often contradict each other, refusing a reductive understanding...[Luca's] struggle is urgent and real. Giardina makes us care, in the end, what happens to our hero"
- Jessica Olin, The New York Times Book Review

"Giardina's talent for capturing emotional nuance and writing about sex in a way that movie guides would classify as X-rated turns a story that might otherwise seem like thinly veiled autobiography into an unusually frank and compelling work of fiction about men and families in turmoil"
- Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

"Giardina has a keen sense of character and an eloquent and soulful style. We are intrigued by his understanding of male sexuality, but we are more captivated by how much he knows about human frailty and growth"
- David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"Lively and sympathetic writing…highly engaging characters…a beguiling portrait of love lost and found and selfhood redeemed."-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

—David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

Joan also regularly reviews literary fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. She lives in Northern California.

Over a period of two years, I did a handful of comics-related essays for the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, in comic-strip form. I had the entire back page of the Book Review at my disposal, which, to a cartoonist used to working at pamphlet or book sizes, seemed like acres of space. I covered George Herriman's Krazy Kat, the publisher Last Gasp and the era of the Undergrounds, a comics show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Keiji Nakazawa's manga on the bombing of Hiroshima, "Barefoot Gen." Then, unfortunately, the Book Review lost their last page to full-color weather reporting.