Year in Reading

A Year in Reading: Sam Lipsyte

By posted at 6:00 pm on December 15, 2013 2

covercoverTwo works of fiction from Irish writers really struck me this year. One was Kevin Barry’s Dark Lies the Island, a boisterous and beautiful collection of stories. Barry is a prose wizard whose stories pulse on the page with all the humor and viciousness of life itself. The other book was Keith Ridgway’s Hawthorn and Child, a hypnotic piece of writing that reinvents all those so-called literary reinventions of the crime novel. It makes the familiar strange and the strange even stranger and breaks us free of the usual procedural procedures, clears room for real thought and feeling. As The Millions recently noted, I was a major admirer of John the Posthumous by Jason Schwartz. Claire Messud beat me to the punch in these pages, but I also loved Victoria Redel’s new collection, Make Me Do Things. Portugal’s Jacinto Lucas Pires put in a great performance with The True Actor, a story of artistic confusion and generational despair in austerity-era Lisbon. I’m a few years late on these but Dennis Cooper’s The Marbled Swarm and Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers both floored me, or maybe the Cooper actually walled me (read the book). Jenny Offill’s about-to-be-published Dept. of Speculation is spectacular.

More from A Year in Reading 2013

Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

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2 Responses to “A Year in Reading: Sam Lipsyte”

  1. Mormon Country
    at 10:22 am on December 16, 2013

    I also liked the Marbled Swarm. Such a dark beauty of a book.

  2. A Year in Reading: Bloomers Edition | Bloom
    at 6:03 am on December 20, 2013

    […] Kevin Barry, who debuted with the short story collection There Are Little Kingdoms (2007) at 38 and followed it up with his first novel, the acclaimed City of Bohane, four years later, makes it on to a few contributors’ lists for 2013’s Dark Lies the Island, including those of The Millions staff writer Bill Morris and author Sam Lipsyte. […]

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