A daily diary started by the narrator as a sort of orientation experiment, Notes follows a single year in the life of obscure composer, photographer, and essayist David Bacon. It offers a compact and comic look at both his world and the world around him. Here in elliptic notes is a snapshot of Bacon’s wife, Emily; his perpetually fearful neighbor, Mrs. Hampton; and his continuing struggle with a recalcitrant composition tentatively titled The Coward’s Quartet. Here in black and white is the documentary evidence with which one might—if so inclined—confront a conveniently unreliable memory.
Purportedly culled from a cache of donated papers, Novel Ideas, is an unorthodox character study, a look at one writer’s life from the inside. A mosaic collection of excerpted letters and emails written by the author Stephen Styles to his close friend, the novelist Alan Dodd, the book follows Styles as he struggles to write a true crime story—a story that must, in the end, compete with friends, family, and other ideas (novel ideas) for his attention.
” A keen eye for the ridiculous,” —Nancy Horner, Bookfoolery
A catalogue of imaginary photographs, The Photo Album is an idiosyncratic mix of character study and meditation—a glimpse into the life of a peculiar photo-enthusiast named Michael Quick and a questioning, if somewhat cursory, examination of his present obsession. It is a portrait not just of the photographer, but of the time and space around him. Also the people—his camera-shy wife Amy; his friend, the writer Ryan Richardson; his neighbors the Moores, whose son is mysteriously missing. A concise and unconventional wander, it is as much a comic adventure as a contemplative one.
“Fun, smart and sly.” —Kirk Tuck, The Visual Science Lab
The Ingram Interview, an unrepentantly quirky novel, weaves its way interrogatively through the life of Daniel Ingram, a retired, none-too-healthy English professor who has been kicked out of an assisted-care facility because he was depressing other residents. Moving in temporarily with a former student of his—a young art-film maker named Michael Berger—Daniel works fitfully on a ramshackle memoir as he continues to pursue a reconciliation with his absent ex-wife.
“Lean, quizzical, modern, urban.” —Bob Hicks, Art Scatter
A Painter’s Life is a characteristically mischievous oddity. A mix of biographical scraps, journal entries, review excerpts, and interviews, it is an intimate and introspective tour of the art world—a portrait of the sometimes portraitist Christopher Freeze. Focusing in part on Freeze’s friends, family, and fellow artists—as well as his relationship with his frazzled dealer and his would-be monographer—it is an inventive, seriocomic look at one peculiar man’s ceaseless struggle to make something beautiful.
“Beguiling…slyly funny.” —John Foyston, The Oregonian
Andrew (A to Z) is a sort of mosaic that the reader assembles subconsciously. Focusing on the narrator’s family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, it is the story of a quasi-neurotic malcontent on the edge of the edge of middle middle-age. An amateur photographer, the office satirist, an evening’s dinner guest, Andrew pastes together in alphabetical disorder a collage portrait of his baffled suburban life.
“Unique …Intriguing…Clever” —Katie Schneider, The Oregonian
A collage of notes written in a sixth-floor men’s room, The Sum of His Syndromes is the story of a slightly disturbed young man who has found himself at a personal and professional crossroads. There is a job he doesn’t want, a girl he does, and a friend who is writing a book. If it weren’t for the wise counsel of his therapist, the anomalous Dr. C, who knows what might have happened.
“Enigmatic…Addictive…” —A.M. Homes