Synopses & Reviews
Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie.In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer’s life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog’s well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles’s experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.
Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles’s childhood puppet to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull, from lyrical transcriptions of their walks to Rosie’s enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow (a dog memoir) illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog.
"Following Eileen Myles around a dog is like following Leopold Bloom around Dublin. Reading Afterglow is like entering the company of a sensibility that is rich, original, witty, and tonally brilliant. It is the darting asides, the phrasing and the subplots that matter most in this book, that give pure, sheer constant pleasure." Colm Tóibín, author of House of Names
"A rare new breed of dog memoir; think Patti Smith’s Just Kids, not Josh Grogan’s Marley and Me, absinthe not saccharine." Library Journal (starred review)
"Myles uses a pastiche approach to explore the bodily, cerebral, and esoteric/religious aspects of the grieving process, all of which is portrayed with meditative poignancy... Myles depicts the raw pathos of loss with keen insight." Publishers Weekly
"A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that’s really about life and everything there is, Afterglow is a truly astonishing creation." Helen Macdonald, author of the New York Times bestseller H Is for Hawk
"Myles’s work is a perfect example of what happens when you mix raw language with emotion, pets with loss, and sexuality with socioculturalism. A captivating look at a poet’s repeated attempt ‘to dig a hole in eternity’ through language." Kirkus (starred review)
About the Author
Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books, including Chelsea Girls, and most recently, I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems 1974-2014. Myles's many honors include four Lambda Literary Awards, the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Creative Capital's Literature Award as well as their Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. Myles lives in Marfa, Texas, and New York City.