The celebrated choreographer of Bronx Gothic explores the embodiment of psychic space, the nature of memory, and who gets to write history.
The crisply constructed short stories for which David Means has become renowned are high and tight. His new—and first—novel, Hystopia, is something shaggier, departing, in its theoretical approach, from the New Yorker School of Fiction for the emerging field of narrative medicine, in which testimonies of trauma are inherently wooly and chaotic rather than refined and concise.
As Alissa Nutting’s Tampa scandalizes readers, the author defends her novel’s transgressive eroticism as a devilish temptation that readers must resist.
“You can renovate your soul and change your behavior and lie to yourself, but maybe the face is the last frontier of truth. There’s only so much that plastic surgery can do for you.”
“Sometimes you’re lucky and, on first dig, you hit the underground stream and the flow pours out and you get a novel out of it. But other times you’re just digging hole after hole and you’re not finding anything—just heaps of dry dirt.”
Even though—or perhaps because—it’s such a small country, Lebanon has been swept up in a number of major geopolitical encounters over the past 200 years.