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Ralph Clare

Ralph Clare is a writer who lives in Brooklyn.

NONFICTION: Americaner and Americaner

Don’t believe that William T. Vollmann’s latest work, Imperial, is merely a “California” book because it explores the Imperial Valley, an amorphous rural and agricultural region southeast of L.A. Imperial is more a tale of the West, and thus is really the tail end of the dogged America that old bitch Manifest Destiny once birthed.

FICTION: The Gessen Game of History

The photo captures Bill Clinton and Al Gore, youthful and vigorous, lifetimes away from Lewinsky and the 2000 election. Clinton’s smiling face leans toward Gore’s, as if he has just made some jovial remark, and Gore smiles in response. Each man gazes out beyond the photo’s frame with all the confidence and hope that the newly elected, upstart duo inspired back then.

Prose Roundup

Roberto Bolaño’s books should be stacked on your bedside table. They should be battered and dog-eared, coffee stained, and creased.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues