When He Sprang From His Bed, Staggered Backward, And Fell Dead, We Clung Together With Faint Hearts, And Mutely Questioned Each Other
Winner of the 2016 GMR Book Prize / Selected by Sarah Manguso
Christopher Kang’s work is mysterious, lovelorn, philosophical and often very amusing. Its lyricism is matched only by its daring. A remarkable book.
Christopher Kang’s brilliant first book, a steady accretion of Robert Walserian feuilletons, filled me with such quick strobes of delight and confusion and dismay and envy that, in the end, I mostly felt vertigo. This book is sly; it contains its own contradictions. It is a searing indictment of artistic ambition while being nakedly ambitious; it is self-reflective without a steady self to reflect; it is simultaneously starkly clear and confounding; and its intelligence is often punctured by humor and sentiment and near-aphorisms that ring so quietly and personally that I often wanted to write them in permanent marker on my skin.
These tiny novels or are they prose poems or pieces of a particle theory never let their genre indeterminacy cause blurring. Vivid as sword-thrusts, stroboscopic as a fall from a sudden precipice, marvelously stark as the outline of a pride of lions on the horizon, this book, sparkling like a bag of jewels, offers us the opportunity to live many lives without all those interstitial fascia. How about a shot of tequila? How about 880?