#tobyreads: The Plot & The Echoes of Life

It’s been kind of a weird week, as reading goes. There’ve been a few terrific books that I’ve read in the past few days that I’m probably not going to talk about quite yet, but that you will see me writing about in the coming weeks and months. (The authors of those? Jen Doll, Norman Lock, and Scott Cheshire.) But this week has also seen plenty of other reading, some of which has been very plot-heavy; others of which has […]

Continue Reading

#tobyreads: On the Aesthetics of Absence — Doubles and Disappearances from Calle, Bioy Casares, Blackwell, Davis, and Chaix

There’s something uneasily evocative about a character defined by their absence. In the novel I’m working on now, I’m trying to summon up one of the central characters via the narratives of others, and it’s not an easy task. When this is done well, it can be breathtaking: consider Michael Kimball’s┬áDear Everybody, in which the assemblage of the novel turns the (offscreen) character into as vividly rendered a figure as the book’s ostensible protagonist. The books discussed this week make […]

Continue Reading