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The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis (Little House on the Bowery)by Mark Gluth
Synopses & Reviews
Part of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery series, this phenomenal debut novella demonstrates an affinity with the work of such contemporary European writers as Agota Kristof and Marie Redonnet, while existing in a place and time that is uniquely American. Composed in brief paragraphs, the book is structured as a series of vignettes, pieces of fiction, and autobiography.
"Gluth probes the effects of death in his creepily enchanting debut, a delicate narrative consisting of a chain of lives connected by deaths. The first death concerns an elderly writer named Margaret Kroftis living alone with her dog; a fire starts in her house while she's out for a walk, and she is devastated to learn that her dog, trapped in the house, has perished. Months later, completing the last scrap she will write ('My Watery Death'), Margaret dies in her bed. Margaret returns in the next section, involving a group of high school students: Beth is composing a script about Margaret in her first foray as a writer; however, she is distracted by her feverish attraction to Peter, a musician in a band whose singer, J, kills himself. Later, Beth and Peter, older and living together, befriend a waiflike neighbor and amateur photographer, Mira, who is killed in a car accident. The dead move among these meandering vignettes like ghosts with the lack of cohesiveness ably compensated by Gluth's impressionistic and dreamy prose." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"There is not much plot in this evocative, emotional work, and it is not needed. In short, impressionistic sentences that soon become hypnotic, Gluth captures the atmosphere brilliantly and leaves the reader in awe of his ability." Library Journal
A phenomenal debut novella to further establish the literary exellence of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery series.
A phenomenal debut novella to further establish the literary excellence of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery series.
In The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis, Mark Gluth does something I've never seen another author do: he captures perfectly the feel of daydreams. Though everybody in the book daydreams, Gluth doesn't simply describe their thoughts; instead, he does something better and more brilliant—he infuses his words with the deceptive simplicity and surrealism of the fantasies we dream up for ourselves. Like daydreams, his book is brief but powerful; like daydreams, it is both heartbreakingly hopeful and heart-stoppingly honest. It's a reverie that's a revelation. It is great.”—Derek McCormack, author of The Show that Smells
The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis begins during the later days of Margaret Kroftis's life. She is a writer, living alone. As she experiences a personal tragedy the narrative moves forward in an emotionally coherent manner that exists separately from linear time. Themes of loss and grief cycle and repeat and build upon each other. They affect the text and create a complex structure of crosshatched narratives within narratives. These mirror each other while also telling unique stories of loss that are both separate from Margaret's as well as deeply intertwined.
This groundbreaking debut demonstrates an affinity with the work of such contemporary European writers as Agota Kristof and Marie Redonnet, while existing in a place and time that is uniquely American. Composed in brief paragraphs and structured as a series of vignettes, pieces of fiction, and autobiography, The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis creates a world in which a woman's life is refracted through dreamlike logic. Coupled with the spare language in which it is written, this logic distorts and heightens the emotional truths the characters come to terms with, while elevating them beyond the simply literal.
Mark Gluth's writing has previously appeared in the anthology Userlands (Akashic, 2007) and Ellipsis magazine. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and their two dogs.
Dennis Cooper's (series editor) novels have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. He has guest-edited sections of fiction and nonfiction for BookForum, Nerve, the L.A. Weekly Literary Supplement, and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. He is a contributing editor of ArtForum magazine and lives in Los Angeles.
About the Author
Mark Gluth's writing has previously appeared in the anthology Userlands (edited by Dennis Cooper) and Ellipses magazine. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and their two dogs.
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