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In Conversation

Marc Estrin with Ben Mirov

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.”

FICTION: Nothing is Quite Forgotten Anywhere

In unexpectedly postmodern moments throughout Alice Mattison’s 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.

FICTION: Accidents Will Happen

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 Pilgrim’s Progress; Moby Dick’s Ishmael travels the ocean much like his biblical namesake wandered Levantine deserts; Beckett’s Watt is perplexed, his Krapp is retentive.

FICTION: The Art of Communication

Dear Eli: I’m in the middle of the ocean. I haven’t left my room in four days. I’ve never been more lonely in my life, and I think I’m 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.

FICTION: On the Road Again?

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.

Prose Roundup

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

Poetry Roundup

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.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 08-JAN 09

All Issues