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UPDATE: Back in print: Gary Lutz’s I Looked Alive (+ a Markson aside)

I mentioned in this post that Gary Lutz’s second collection of stories, I Looked Alive, was out of print and commanding upwards of $90. Luckily, it’s now back in print from Black Square Editions/Brooklyn Rail and can be yours for $17.

(UPDATE: I picked up a copy of the new edition of this today (at St. Mark’s Bookshop on the Lower East Side) when I realized that it was an expanded edition, featuring three stories not published in the original collection: “I Have to Feel Halved,” “In Kind,” and a previously-available piece called “I Was in Kilter with Him a Little,” which also appears in Lutz’s chapbook Partial List of People to Bleach.)

I realized that I reviewed I Looked Alive for New Letters back in 2004, and thanks to the miracle of the internet it’s been scanned and preserved forever (which is unfortunate because I find it highly embarrassing to go back and read, six years later). Hopefully you can get a sense of the book’s importance without wincing too hard at my terrible writing.

Something I remembered when I went looking for the review is that it was a joint write-up that also included David Markson’s Vanishing Point, in which I made a terrible, youthful mistake (those familiar with Markson will know right away what I did wrong) that led to a postcard from Mr. Markson, who died recently. He thanked me for the review but chided me for my error. The fortunate part is that this led to a sporadic correspondence between us, for which I am very grateful.

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