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Christopher Bollen

Christopher Bollen is a writer who lives in New York City. His first novel, Lightning People, was released in 2011, his second novel Orient arrived in May 2015, and his third, The Destroyers came out in June 2017. His most recent novel, A Beautiful Crime, contrasts two grifters on the run with the grandeur of Venice. He is also an editor and critic whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Artforum, New York Magazine, and The Believer. He is currently the editor at large of Interview Magazine and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.


There’s brilliance in this oblique take on life in quarantine. By queering Jaws, the ur-text of an unseen menace holding a town in terror, Christopher Bollen reveals the humanity of those in the background, the extras, the victims. On a wide scale, we see the struggles of unemployment during lockdown, being a closeted teen in small town America, and the obliteration of ‘summer’. On a finer scale, Bollen brings a masterful eye for the minute detail that reveals character—witness a gas station manager “wiping his nose with the underside of his wrist” even though his hands happen to be clean. But whatever the scale, “SWAJ” is achingly fun.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2023

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