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Gabe Habash - Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark

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Gabe Habash, Stephen Florida, Coffee House Press, 2017.


Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.


"In Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash has created a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity. Habash has a canny sense of how young men speak and behave, and in Stephen, he's created a singular character: funny, ambitious, affecting, but also deeply troubled, vulnerable, and compellingly strange. This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study." ―Hanya Yanagihara


A college wrestler is driven to win, to the detriment of his mental health.
The captivating narrator of Habash’s debut n…

L. J. Davis - One of the strangest novels ever: a crazed parable in which the protagonist, Lowell Lake, and his marriage undergo a constantly regenerating process of mental and physical disintegration. Quite mad

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L. J. Davis, A Meaningful Life, NYRB Classics, 2009.


read itat Google Books


L.J. Davis’s 1971 novel, A Meaningful Life, is a blistering black comedy about the American quest for redemption through real estate and a gritty picture of New York City in collapse. Just out of college, Lowell Lake, the Western-born hero of Davis’s novel, heads to New York, where he plans to make it big as a writer. Instead he finds a job as a technical editor, at which he toils away while passion leaks out of his marriage to a nice Jewish girl. Then Lowell discovers a beautiful crumbling mansion in a crime-ridden section of Brooklyn, and against all advice, not to mention his wife’s will, sinks his every penny into buying it. He quits his job, moves in, and spends day and night on demolition and construction. At last he has a mission: he will dig up the lost history of his house; he will restore it to its past grandeur. He will make good on everything that’s gone wrong with his life, and he will even murder …

Romina Paula - Dazed with grief, a young woman pours out her heart to a beloved friend who committed suicide, in a stream of consciousness that scatters the page with the ashes of home, popular songs, horrific news items, movie plots, pets, vermin, and exes old and new

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Romina Paula, August, Trans. by Jennifer Croft, Feminist Press, 2017.
excerpt






Traveling home to rural Patagonia, a young woman grapples with herself as she makes the journey to scatter the ashes of her friend Andrea. Twenty-one-year-old Emilia might still be living, but she’s jaded by her studies and discontent with her boyfriend, and apathetic toward the idea of moving on. Despite the admiration she receives for having relocated to Buenos Aires, in reality, cosmopolitanism and a career seem like empty scams. Instead, she finds her life pathetic.
Once home, Emilia stays with Andrea’s parents, wearing the dead girl’s clothes, sleeping in her bed, and befriending her cat. Her life put on hold, she loses herself to days wondering how if what had happened—leaving an ex, leaving Patagonia, Andrea leaving her—hadn’t happened.
Both a reverse coming-of-age story and a tangled homecoming tale, this frank confession to a deceased confidante. A keen portrait of a young generation stagnating in an…