The Trace

Forrest Gander (Author)

Product Details

New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
November 11, 2014
5.77 X 1.0 X 8.53 inches | 0.92 pounds
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About the Author

Born in California's Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry--informed by his knowledge of geology--turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action. Gander's books of poetry include Eiko & Koma (2013), Core Samples from the World (2011), Eye Against Eye (2005), Torn Awake (2001), and Science & Steepleflower (1998). Though primarily a poet, Gander is also a translator, novelist, essayist, and the editor of two anthologies, including PANIC CURE: POETRY FROM SPAIN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (Shearsman Books, 2013). He has translated collections by Mexican poets Pura Lopez ColomΓ© and Coral Bracho. With Kent Johnson he translated Bolivian poet Jaime Saenz's Immanent Visitor and The Night (2007), for which he won a PEN Translation Award. His translations of Neruda are included in The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (2004). He also edited the bilingual anthology Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women (1993). Gander's own poetry has been translated into several languages. His novel, As a Friend, was published in 2008. Gander has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Whiting, Howard, and United States Artists Foundations and is the recipient of a Witter Bynner- Library of Congress award.


As in his previous works, Gander shows he is keenly aware of the loneliness that imbues human suffering and sets grief alight using beautiful, tense, haunting prose.
His work burrows into the particularities of disparate places and cultures in order to sound the differences between them.
A restlessly experimental writer.--Robert Hass
A moving elegy. It is also proof that language has magical potential.--Joanna Scott
The clarity of his artistic vision, formal innovation, and emotional honesty are enviable.
In this strange and beautiful novel as in life, love is part of what is sacred.--Jeanette Winterson
Gander's poetic writing lends this story a dense, brooding atmosphere; a carefully crafted novel of intimacy and isolation.
Gander's novel surges. No other writer that I know of has so accurately and carefully depicted the tiny internecine battles of two lovers on an interminable drive as does Gander in this book.--Lowry Pressly
Spooky and sublime.
What really haunts Gander, who is a translator as well as a poet, isn't so much death as the complexities of life: the frequently unknown stories that lie beneath and within the stories we tell.
The Trace is a poet's book, which is to say it is filled with the pleasures of language, sharply and skillfully used, but Forrest Gander also has the narrative drive of the best novelists. The Trace is a tense, propulsive thriller, which keeps on building until the very last page.--Hari Kunzru