Reviews / Press

The Gulf

Praise for The Gulf

Named a most anticipated book of 2019 by the Huffington Post, LitHub, The Millions, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One of Entertainment Weekly's "20 Great New Books to Read in April 2019"

“A new work by Belle Boggs is a cause for celebration. In The Gulf, she leaps across perspectives with ease, bridging America’s political divide with compassion and comedy, clarity and insight. The Gulf is a hilarious and healing novel for these polarized times. Reading it consumed my nights, and gave me hope”—Tania James, author of The Tusk That Did the Damage

“[A] hilarious, pitiable, thoughtful first novel not to be missed. A rare combination of silliness and poignancy, with momentum and compassion, this is a story for every reader, but especially for struggling writers.”—Shelf Awareness (starred review) (read full review)

“Boggs bombards her heroine with difficulties—artistic, ethical, romantic, meteorological—at an antic pace, and the book has slapstick charm.... A smart, slightly kooky exploration of art and money, faith and politics.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review) (read full review)

“Boggs (The Art of Waiting) brings characters to unexpected rapport in her droll yet genuine unpacking of contemporary for-profit education and culture wars... Readers will find this witty, nuanced work both satisfying and resonant.”Publishers Weekly (read full review) 

[The Gulf] beautifully balances absurdity and emotional depth, complete with a bombastic state representative, an epiphanic hurricane, and Marianne's journey, if not to faith, then to salvation.—Booklist (starred review) 

“For all the satire, Boggs’ novel is also deeply felt, and moving. Perhaps its greatest strength is Boggs’ delicate, hard-won sympathy for her characters, and the sympathy they develop for one another.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune (read full review) 

“...a thoughtful, patient examination of the walls we create to separate ourselves and how looking past differences to find common ground can make them crumble. Without being shrill or simplistic or preachy, The Gulf is a timely commentary on our polarized political climate that offers a tiny spark of hope for the future.—Atlanta Journal-Constitution (read full review) 

Boggs’s book is good enough to have you believing, for a little while at least, that the trip to the other side just might be worth it.—The Christian Century (read full review) 

“...realist, near-historical, gently wry... shows us... not the jolt of an unrecognizable climate 50 years from now, but the half-submerged realization that the weather isn’t just weather anymore... [A] novel about a nation divided in ways that might seem sudden but that have been brewing for decades, even centuries.—HuffPost (read full review) 

Boggs is as inspired by our faith in reinvention as she is intrigued by the hubris that it permits[.]—Los Angeles Review of Books (read full review) 

“...more than just a witty parody: Boggs uses the Ranch as a lens through which to examine our fractured country, where the inability to allow for ambivalence keeps us separated by a gulf. In Boggs’s ultimately redemptive novel, it is language—poetry—that bridges that gulf...—BOMB (read full review) 

The Art of Waiting

Praise for The Art of Waiting

“I thought quite a lot about what normal is and isn't as I was reading… Belle Boggs's thoughtful meditation on childlessness, childbearing, and—for some—the stretch of liminal agony in between. Her book is a corrective and a tonic, a primer and a dispeller of myths. It is likely to become a go-to guide for the many couples who discover that having children is not the no-assembly-required experience they were expecting. They will come away enlightened, reassured and comforted by her debunker mentality… Ms. Boggs has done something quite lovely and laudable with The Art of Waiting: She's given a cold, clinical topic some much-needed warmth and soul. The miracle of life, you might even say.”—Jennifer Senior in The New York Times (read full review)

“[A]n eye-opening, gorgeously written blend of memoir, reportage, and cultural analysis... Boggs broaches the political without didacticism and the personal without sentimentalism or self-pity. And while the book is often heart-rending, it’s not an unmitigated downer. In her wry, subtle way, Boggs is frequently funny.”Boston Globe (read full review)

“[T]his deeply empathetic book is about more than one woman’s challenge; it’s about the whole scope of maternal urges, of how culture (and literature) treat the childless (or 'childfree'), how biases against medical intervention serve to stigmatize those who need such expensive (and not always successful) assistance, and how complicated can be the decisions about whether to adopt rather than continuing to attempt to conceive, the moral dimensions of international adoption (and surrogates), the additional hurdles facing gay couples, and the seemingly arbitrary differences between states as to what procedures are covered and to what financial limit.Kirkus Reviews (starred review) (read full review)

"Boggs’s essays about 'Plan B family making,' which chronicle her experiences with her spouse, doctors, and peers while dealing with infertility, touch on universal themes of hope, loss, and identity."Publishers Weekly (read full review) 

“[Boggs’s] beautifully written, contemplative book — which blends memoir, journalism and cultural history — is about much more than her own costly and high-tech path to parenthood.”San Francisco Chronicle (read full review) 

Boggs sensitively and creatively explores infertility, the struggle to get pregnant, and the entire concept of ‘waiting,’ which leads her to literature and pop culture. . . . Deeply thoughtful, beautiful, and illuminating.Booklist

*A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection for Fall 2016

*An Indie Next List Selection for September 2016

*One of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Memoirs & Biographies for Fall 2016

*Included in Kirkus Reviews's Most Anticipated Nonfiction for Fall 2016

*Included in:

Buzzfeed Books's “21 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Fall

ELLE's “The 11 Best Books for September 2016

Huffington Post's “13 Illuminating Books That Should Be Required Reading

Publishers Weekly's “The Big Indie Books of Fall 2016

Real Simple's “7 Non-Fiction Books to Read Right Now

Flavorwire's Twenty (Yes Twenty!) Books To Read This September

Literary Hub's “18 Books You Should Read This September

Signature Reads's “12 of the Best Essay Collections for Your Fall Reading

*Imaginary Children, from The Art of Waiting, first published in Ecotone, was selected as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2015

*The Art of Waiting, the title essay from The Art of Waitingfirst published in Orion, was selected as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013

Interviews and Features

NPR Weekend Edition Sunday

'The Art Of Waiting' Stands As Part Memoir, Part Cultural History Of Infertility

The Atlantic Monthly

When 'The Miracle of Life' Doesn't Happen


Slate’s Mom and Dad Are Fighting Podcast, September 16, 2016

Publishers Weekly Radio

PW Radio 190: Belle Boggs and PW Star Watch, September 9, 2016

WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill, NC)

Waiting For Motherhood

Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)

In a New Book, Virginia Native Belle Boggs Reconciles the Fertility of the World Around Her

Mattaponi Queen

Praise for Mattaponi Queen

*Southern Living‘s “Best New Southern Author”

*A Kirkus Review Best Fiction Debut of 2010

*Shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award

*A Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice

*A 2010 Summer Reading Suggestion and a 2010 Favorite Short Story Collection from Largehearted Boy

*A Discoveries pick from the LA Times

*Featured in The Daily Beast‘s Best New Writers series

*Featured in the debut fiction issue of Poets & Writers

“Reading these stories is satisfying, like going to a concert in which the musicians, you can just tell, have given everything for the moment: your unforgettable evening.”—Susan Salter Reynolds for the LA Times

“A great achievement as she has created a rich, capacious fictional territory about the lives of down-on-their luck people (forlorn principals, vengeful nurses, junkies trying to be good parents) that we don’t often encounter in fiction but fill the world.”The Daily Beast (read full review)

“Regional fiction with serious bite.”–The Charlotte Observer (read full review)

“So good you’ll be hooked”The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (read full review)

“[Boggs] writes with subtlety, empathy and command, so that every page features small surprises: jolts of recognition, pungent dialogue, keen observations. Unfussy, understated and richly varied stories—a promising debut.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Boggs’ debut collection of interwoven stories is simultaneously sharp-edged and pastoral, downcast and humorous. Her tales are set on the Mattaponi Indian Reservation in rural downstate Virginia, an unfamiliar landscape that springs to life as each story unfolds, revealing another layer in time[…] The reader feels privy to each conversation, so pitch-perfect is Boggs’ feel for the godforsaken place her characters inhabit.”-Booklist

“Impressive […] these linked stories reach toward hope when they aren’t headed for heartbreak.” ELLE Magazine

“Flawless […] Each of the stories in the debut collection can stand alone, something many writers aspire to yet few achieve with such success. The protagonists aren’t merely hardscrabble people trying to get by, they’re trying to make sense of their lives and where they fit in the space of the world beyond the neighboring counties. Boggs’s carefully measured pace is the perfect accompaniment to her unique setting and its people who are indelibly linked.” -Bookslut

“Prose redolent with realism is a hallmark of the stories . . . . In this highly recommended collection, Boggs writes with subtlety and presents her characters unvarnished.” –The Virginian-Pilot