According to his website, Marc Estrin is a writer, cellist, and activist living in Burlington, Vermont. However, in a secondary biographical note, he calls himself a Biologist, theatre director, EMT, Unitarian Minister, physician assistant, puppeteer, political activist, college professor, cellist and conductor... baffling, even unto himself.
In unexpectedly postmodern moments throughout Alice Mattisons new novel, Nothing is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn, the author addresses the reader. Mattison tells you, firstly, that despite what the title may suggest this is not a story about memory, and that though it may seem odd she has good reason for the structure she has chosen.
Character names are often the most repeated words in fiction, so authors tend to freight them with allegorical meaning as a matter of efficiency. Christian labors toward the Celestial City in A Pilgrims Progress; Moby Dicks Ishmael travels the ocean much like his biblical namesake wandered Levantine deserts; Becketts Watt is perplexed, his Krapp is retentive.
Dear Eli: Im in the middle of the ocean. I havent left my room in four days. Ive never been more lonely in my life, and I think Im in love with Margot. With these words Richie Tenenbaum, a sad-eyed, fallen tennis pro with a tall, cool glass of Bloody Mary telegraphs an emotional tempest to his closest friend Eli Cash, an English professor-cum-novelist with a ten-gallon passion for the Western frontier.
What really happens in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks? Mostly, a small group of broke, young, unmotivated artists tromp around New York City in the mid-1940s. Young Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs unite, alternating chapters.
Jack Sargeant, Naked Lens: Beat Cinema; Jeremy C. Shipp, Sheep and Wolves:Collected Stories; John Adams, Hallelujah Junction; Jaime Lowe, Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB
The Landscapist: Selected Poems; Roberto Bolaño, The Romantic Dogs; Thomas Lux, God Particles; Connie Voisine, Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream; Bob Holman, BOX.