One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place to Hide

Christian Kiefer. Nouvella, $15 (193p) ISBN 978-0-9913141-3-3
Kiefer's latest (after The Animals) ups the ante on the everyday reading experience. Structured as a "kinoroman"—a blend of novella and documentary script—the part-story, part-interview shadows renowned installation artist Frank Poole, who's creating his most inspired work yet: a pristine Levittown-like subdivision erected in the remote Nevada desert, then sealed for perpetuity like a "an endless closed loop." By his side is his business manager and wife, Caitlin, 15 years his junior, who gave up her own artistic pursuits to be with Frank and is pregnant with their first child. As the narrative/interview progresses and snags in the project arise—lack of funding, irresolvable conflicts with the contractor—Frank's mental state deteriorates as he struggles to reconcile his vision and identity as an artist with becoming a parent. The true heart of the book resides in this section, in which Kiefer expertly blends moments of silence (white space on the page) with spare but weighty prose. Flashbacks to Frank's childhood featuring a mostly absent father, when combined with monologues told from Caitlin's perspective and vivid montages describing some of Frank's early installations (a McDonald's reconstructed inside a man's New York apartment; a strip mall Starbucks with no entrances or exits), paint an eerily intimate portrait of a man trapped inside his head, searching for peace. Though housed inside a tiny package, this curiously engaging meditation on art, love, and time packs a wallop. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/15/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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