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This Is Not It: Storiesby Lynne Tillman
Synopses & Reviews
In This Is Not It, Lynne Tillman's collection of 20 years' worth of important and compelling short stories and novellas, the protagonists seduce you into their lives and thoughts. Engaging, funny, elegant, and ironic, Tillman takes the reader to new heights of wit and meaning through staccato phrases, grammatical twists, and sensuous language. Familiar worlds of honesty, deceit, dark humor, pleasure, pain, confusion, dependence, love, and lust each play decisive roles in her believable fictions. In "Come and Go," three characters and an author collide. In "Pleasure Isn't A Pretty Picture," the reader is treated to a he/she meditation on the one-night stand. And "Dead Sleep" is truly an insomniac's worst nightmare.
A twin act on a double bill, This Is Not It is a collection of innovative and stand-alone writing that also engages and matches wits with the some of the best contemporary art: work by Kiki Smith, Jane Dickson, Jessica Stockholder, Diller & Scofidio, Laura Letinsky, Peter Dreher, Roni Horn, Stephen Ellis, Juan Munoz, Vik Muniz, Silvia Kolbowski, Jeff Koons, James Welling, Aura Rosenberg, Barbara Ess, Barbara Kruger, Dolores Marat, Haim Steinbach, Gary Schneider, Marco Breuer, Stephen Prina, and Linder Sterling. Since 1982, acclaimed novelist Tillman has created these unique narratives that are a parallel universe to the contemporary art world. Maybe they're analogues or dialogues, maybe fictions inspired by art, maybe reflections, or meditations--but whatever they're called, like Borges's fictions, they are their own worlds, too. Tillman has marked out terrain of her own, which this collection celebrates. Full of life and art, This Is Not It is illuminating, bold, subtle, and riotous.
"Although you don't need the visual material to appreciate Tillman's fictions, they are enriched by its presence. The book has been designed to make readers reflect upon the connection between word and image. Tillman's stories also bristle with wordplay and sometimes resemble puzzles or brainteasers....They are, in Madame Realism's words, 'a way to think.'" M. G. Lord, New York Times Book Review
"Like an acupuncturist, Lynne Tillman knows the precise points into which to sink her delicate probes." Edmund White
"Lynne Tillman's writing uncovers hidden truths, reveals the unnameable, and leads us into her personal world of pain, pleasure, laughter, fear, and confusion, with a clarity of style that is both remarkable and exhilarating. Honest. Simple. Deep. Authentic. Daring...To read her is, in a sense, to become alive, because she lives so thoroughly in her work. Lynne Tillman is, quite simply, one of the best writers alive today." John Zorn
"Literature is a quirky thing and just when you start to believe it actually has been used up, along comes a writer, Lynne Tillman, whose work is so striking and original it transforms the way you see the world, the way you think about and interact with your surroundings..." Los Angeles Reader
Presents a collection of twenty-three short stories which are based loosely on pieces of art.
About the Author
Lynne Tillman is the author of the novels Haunted Houses; Motion Sickness; Cast in Doubt; and No Lease on Life, a New York Times Notable Book of 1998 and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and the story collections Absence Makes the Heart and The Madame Realism Complex. Her non-fiction books include The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-1967 and The Broad Picture. Tillman's fiction is anthologized in, among others, The New Gothic, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern Literature, The Time Out Book of New York Stories, and High Risk. She writes regularly on art, books, and culture and contributes frequently to artists' books and museum catalogues. She lives in New York.
Table of Contents
Come and go — Madame Realism — To find words — TV tales — Living with contradictions — Madame Realism: a fairy tale — Phantoms — Pleasure isn't a pretty picture — A picture of time — Ode to le petomane — Lust for loss — This is not it — Flowers — Madame Realism lies here — Snow-job — Wild life — Dead sleep — Madame Realism looks for relief — Hold me — The lost city of words — Madame Realism's torch song — The undiagnosed — Thrilled to death.
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