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|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|Main||Fiction Laing (Text)||31307023781919||Fiction||Available||-|
|Van Belkum||Fiction Laing (Text)||31307023781927||Fiction||Checked out||12/03/2019|
- ISBN: 9780393652727 : HRD
- ISBN: 0393652726 : HRD
- Physical Description: 141 pages ; 22 cm
- Edition: First American edition.
- Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (p. 135-141).
A commitment-phobic writer spends the summer of 2017--the first summer of her forties--adjusting to the idea of getting married at a time when truth is dead, fascism is rising, and one rogue tweet from the president could launch a nuclear war.
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|Subject:||Women authors > Fiction.
Library Journal Review
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The days leading up to the summer 2017 wedding of Kathy, a New Yorker living in London, to an Englishman almost 30 years her senior are punctuated by news of underground nuclear testing in North Korea, floods in Houston, the Grenfell Tower fire, and much ado about President Donald Trump. In Italy, before the wedding, the couple mingle with a well-heeled crowd before returning to London to finesse the wedding and their future together. The details of the fictional Kathy's life bear more than a passing resemblance to those of the late novelist and poet Kathy Acker, with extensive quotes from Acker's actual writing, and include an absent father, a mother who committed suicide, private school girlhood, and a double mastectomy. The jazzy stream-of-consciousness writing perfectly suits this zippy novel about people living comfortable lives surrounded by unsettling Instagram images. VERDICT As Acker was known for basing much of her work on the writing of others, so Laing (The Trip to Echo Spring; The Lonely City) similarly appropriates Acker's life as the basis for this clever work. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/18.]-Barbara Love, formerly with Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. Â© Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
"Avant-garde, middle-class-in-flight" is the way Kathy, modeled on experimental novelist Kathy Acker and the heroine of this penetrating debut novel from biographer and memoirist Laing, thinks of herself. Unlike Acker, who died at age 50 in 1997, this Kathy is age 40 in 2017 and is getting ready to marry her boyfriend. As the tale toggles back and forth between Rome and Manhattan, present and past, Laing (The Lonely City)-who laces her narrative with phrases subtly quoted from Acker's texts-fantasizes about how the author might have reacted to the age of Twitter ("her scrying glass"), Facebook, Instagram, and information overload. Kathy's thoughts-which are the novel's sum and substance-are like those of an Acker character: moments of self-consciousness and anxiety aswirl with gloomy reflections on recent historical events including the Trump presidency; Brexit; nuclear proliferation in North Korea; the Grenfell Tower fire in London; the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.; and so on. The world that Kathy moves in is, like that in Joyce's Ulysses, full of touchstones for intimate memories and reveries. Laing's novel can be read as an account of one individual's personal odyssey through a turbulent era defined by "fire and fascism," searching for peace. As in her nonfiction, Laing trenchantly depicts the life of the creative mind. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Sept.) Â© Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.