A Year in Reading: Dennis Cooper

December 12, 2011 | 6 books mentioned 5 2 min read

covercoverWhat with the renaissance-like state of new American writing these days, not to mention the wealth of fresh and innovative independent and micro publishing houses, it’s even more incredibly difficult to pick ten best books of the year than it always is. To try to do so, I stuck to fiction and poetry, and I selected only one book per imprint. Blake Butler’s novel There Is No Year (Harper Perennial) not only thrilled me via its amazing mechanisms, but it was further evidence of how much his prose promises in general. Suicide (Dalkey Archive), the first novel to be translated into English by the late French writer Edouard Levé, was dazzling in its sublime combination of Oulipoian lightness and terrible sorrow. I also loved Kate Zambreno’s novel Green Girl (Emergency Press), in which she outdid her already impressive work. Like many others, I’ve been anticipating the publication of Laurie Weeks’ long in-process novel Zippermouth (Feminist Press) for almost a decade, and it fulfilled my every wish. Gary Lutz is one of my very favorite prose stylists, and his new story collection Divorcer (Calamari Press) might be his best ever. Another favorite author, Lynne Tillman, released the crazily good short fiction collection Someday This Will Be Funny (Red Lemonade) this year. A great discovery for me was Jeremy M. Davies’ gorgeous and complex novel Rose Alley (Counterpath Press), and I was very happy to see Patrick deWitt’s highly original and pleasurable western-themed novel The Sisters Brothers (Ecco) rewarded with deserving accolades and prizes. Finally, in poetry, the work of one of my all-time very favorite poets Tim Dlugos was collected in the crucial book A Fast Life (Nightboat Books), and the new poetry collection Click and Clone (Coffeehouse Press) by another longtime favorite, Elaine Equi, was her most exciting and illuminating to date.

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is the author of The George Miles Cycle, a decade-long, five-novel project (Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period). He has written eight other novels, nine volumes of poetry, and edited and collaborated on numerous books and catalogues. His newest novel, The Marbled Swarm, is recently out from HarperCollins. He blogs (extensively) at DC's.

5 comments:

  1. I just read a paragraph in which ten books were mentioned and I learned that the author of the paragraph liked those ten books. May I suggest bullets next time?

    For example:

    I liked these ten books:

    Blake Butler’s There Is No Year (Harper Perennial)
    Edouard Levé’s Suicide (Dalkey Archive)
    Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl (Emergency Press)
    Laurie Weeks’ Zippermouth (Feminist Press)
    Gary Lutz’s Divorcer (Calamari Press)
    Lynne Tillman’s Someday This Will Be Funny (Red Lemonade)
    Jeremy M. Davies’ Rose Alley (Counterpath Press)
    Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (Ecco)
    Tim Dlugos’ A Fast Life (Nightboat Books)
    Elaine Equi’s Click and Clone (Coffeehouse Press)

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