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On Kafka and Coetzee

My essay on Kafka and JM Coetzee is in the current issue of Southerly. This is an Australian journal (and quite possibly the most prestigious journal on the continent), so, unfortunately, it’s not cheap if you live outside of Australia, but I do hope some of you purchase it. The subject-matter here cuts pretty deeply for me, and these are two authors whom I feel closest to of virtually everyone I’ve ever read, and I think it shows in the essay.

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The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


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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