My Romance

Gordon Lish, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-393-03001-3
Redoubtable editor and minimalist guru Lish again indulges in somewhat tasteless ``faction,'' using himself as protagonist, with a cast including his parents, wife and son along with such publishing and literary notables as Denis Donoghue and James Salter. This time his characteristic monologue ( Dear Mr. Capote ; Peru ) takes the form of a speech purportedly delivered at a writer's conference. In it, the narrator/Lish speaks obsessively about his father's death, for which he may have been responsible, and his chronic psoriasis, which led to a ``romance'' with a fellow Random House employee (``There was no sex; it was just seeing everything,'' i.e., Lish's lesion-covered body, sans clothes but with shoes). There are also references to the deaths of his mother and sister (the latter by suicide); to Arnold Gingrich, publisher of Esquire , on his deathbed; and to his wife's illness. An exercise in narcississm, the narrative is a sustained whine about the difficulty of expressing love and the essential human inadequacy in the face of death. Some readers may be intrigued by the author's quirky voice; others may succumb to mounting impatience and distaste. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-393-31104-4
Paperback - 111 pages - 978-1-56025-798-1
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