Beth Steidle and I met working at McNally Jackson Books, in Soho. I knew nothing about her when she started; she offered little personal information, but would answer questions if I asked. I came to learn she was a writer. Then I came to learn she was a visual artist. One night, we found ourselves taking the train home together, and I learned she was working on a book about her father, who died of kidney cancer. I read Beth’s […]
I’d been meaning to read Beth Steidle’s The Static Herd for a while now. It’s a slim book, but a powerful one, juxtaposing scenes from a life with medical terminology ominous in its context and implications, diagrams, and illustrations. There are questions raised here of family, of mortality, and of things that go unnoticed; what it all adds up to, in the end, is a kind of impressionistic portrait of several interwoven lives, nestled alongside a meditation on observation and interpretation.