The Self-Published Book You Must Read

At The Quarterly Conversation we’ve just published Scott Bryan Wilson’s review of A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava.

This is a bit atypical for a number of reasons. The book was originally published in 2008, and we generally don’t do reviews like this of books coming up on 3 years old. The book is also almost 700 pages, and it’s self-published.

So why did we decide to cover this book? Well, for one thing, one of my most trusted reviewers, a person who loves authors like Gaddis, Pynchon, Vollmann, McElroy, etc, says this is just as good. For another, I recalled a wildly favorable review a while back by Steve Donoghue, who’s about as tough and as well-read critic as I know.

So, putting those two together, either two people with very, very good taste and very, very high standards have both had an off-day, or this is one of the most underappreciated novels in recent years. I don’t know. I haven’t read it. But now I know I’m going to soon. Read the review and see if you want to decide for yourself.

Recent Posts

Criticism Isn't Free

CR is dedicated to thoughtful, in-depth criticism without regard to what's commercially appealing. It takes tens of hours each month to provide this. Please help make this sort of writing sustainable, either with a subscription or a one-time donation. Thank you!

You could also purchase one of my acclaimed ebooks.


Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Wow … de la Pava mailed me a copy a year ago, and I kind of flipped through it but didn’t really take it seriously because 1) it was self-published, and 2) the author’s name made me suspect it was some kind of hoax (Spanish pava = turkey, colloquially “a bore”). Guess I didn’t look at it long enough. Hope I still have it around someplace…

Winter book club, anybody? Looks phenomenal.

Perhaps this is just what I need to keep me busy until Zone is finally published. Thanks Scott. Thanks again.

[…] Hermano Cerdo has interviewed Sergio de la Pava, well-known to readers of this site (for more see here and here) as the author of A Naked […]


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.

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2018. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.