Dog Days

I’ve been traveling, and when not traveling knee-deep in various forms of work, so apologies for the silence ’round these parts. With some luck that will abate in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, read one of these books, or check some of my latest work below.

My review of the fourth and final book of the Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante, at the San Francisco Chronicle.

And for The Paris Review I interview Ben Moser about all things Lispector.

And also, I’ll recommend to you The Wake by Paul Kingsworth. This is being billed as “a postapocalyptic novel set a thousand years in the past,” about an Englishman who experiences the destruction of his civilization when William the Conqueror, well, conquers in 1066. It’s written in a sort of Old English dialect (Kingsworth modernizes it so that you don’t need a Ph.D. to read the book), and it’s quite good; some slight overtones of Krasznahorkai here, as well as the Oulipo, given the nature of this literary endeavor and the radically condensed alphabet/vocabulary that Kingsworth gives himself to work with. I’m hoping to write on it more in the future.

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I’ve just posted on this one myself – I thought it was a welcome return to form after the disappointing end of the third volume…


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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