I really ought to dislike duncan b. barlow’s writing. He writes in tiny punchy sentences, and to make them, he sometimes divides complete sentences into ungrammatical clauses. I am a Proustian all the way, insisting as I do on long winding sentences with many joined clauses, using commas to get my way, breathing only when necessary. (See?) But goddamn if I don’t love barlow’s writing anyway. Goddamn if he hasn’t done it again, whatever incredible thing he does as a writer, with his new novel, A Dog Between Us. It’s an intense piece of work, revolving as it does around two people in the narrator’s life who are dying in different ways. Its shape and symmetry remain elusive, and its plotlines taper instead of ending. But the reading experience is akin to—if you’ve never done this, I pity you—sitting on a plastic sled attached to the back of a moving vehicle. Joy and danger mixed together, roped to an unfailing engine dragging you along.
In our morning reading: reviews of books by Sharma Shields and duncan b. barlow, an essay by Cynthia Cruz, and more.
In our morning reading: interviews with Bryan Washington and duncan b. barlow, revisiting the work of Bob Fosse, and more.
Rumor has it that it’s now springtime. And while we’re tempted to volley forth a “spring cleaning? more like spring reading, am I right?”-level salvo, it may be the wiser course of action to simply make with the book recommendations. And thus, here were go, with April’s notable titles encompassing everything from fictional trips into the uncanny to nonfiction that may bring clarity to a frustrating world. Here are some of the books that have caught our eye this month.
We’re incredibly excited to hear that writer, musician, and Vol.1 Brooklyn contributor duncan b. barlow has a new novel due out this spring on Stalking Horse Press.
The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on Dan Sheehan’s new novel, interviews with Hanif Abdurraqib and Martin Riker, and more.
In our morning reading: new writing by Carmen Maria Machado and Michelle Tea, thoughts on Porochista Khakpour’s memoir, and more.