Afterglow (a Dog Memoir)
Eileen Myles (Author)
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DescriptionProlific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer's life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog's wellbeing, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief. Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull, from lyrical transcriptions of their walks to Rosie's enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow (a dog memoir) illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog.
September 12, 2017
5.8 X 1.1 X 8.3 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author
Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books, including Afterglow (a dog memoir), Inferno (a poet's novel), Chelsea Girls, and Cool For You. Myles's many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, four Lambda Literary Awards, the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing, as well as grants from Creative Capital (nonfiction) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (poetry), and the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant.
Praise for Afterglow (a dog memoir) "Unflinching but also irrepressibly humorous. [Myles's] grief at losing Rosie is profound; it is also a revelation . . . Myles possesses, in abundance, two qualities of the highest value for a writer, irreverence and relentless curiosity, and here both are on full display . . . because [Afterglow] is a love story, and because, like any serious book about death, it is full of life, it has a celebratory feel to it . . . the writing here, by turns playful, heartfelt, wise, compassionate, fantastical and audaciously confessional, should please many." --Sigrid Nunez, New York Times Book Review "Afterglow is a mutt elegy in a million . . . Myles gets at something no other dog book I've read has gotten at quite this distinctly: The sense of wordless connection and spiritual expansion you feel when you love and are loved by a creature who's not human . . . It's raw and affecting, and in its wild snuffling way, utterly original." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR "You'll laugh, and you'll cry, yes, but you'll also think hard, as you work to pull together the many disparate, cosmic, and charming notions Myles sets forth . . . with quicksilver intellect and whimsy fully engaged . . . [Afterglow is] wry, far-flung, and wonderfully loving." --Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe "Afterglow portrays a complex and often hilarious relationship between two animals, characterized by love and deep interrogation of power, creativity, and point of view . . . for Myles, a dog becomes the surrogate for a sort of vicarious enlightenment . . . an ever-deepening investigation into the nature of human-being-ness, self-knowledge, and knowing things outside of yourself . . . A book that's wise to miscommunication but hungry to overcome it, Afterglow celebrates that rare authorial ability to get out of one's own way and show us a singular and limber mind roaming free." --Melissa Broder, Bookforum "Fantastical . . . wrenching . . . obsession becomes a way to process grief." --Helena Fitzgerald, Rolling Stone "To read Eileen Myles is to feel as if the poet, after spotting you across the room at a crowded party, has guided you by the elbow to a private corner to confide their personal theories of the universe. Afterglow is just that intimate. Part elegy, part meditation, part performance art . . . poignant, sweeping." --Claire Luchette, O, the Oprah Magazine "Tender, lyrical." --Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed, one of 28 Exciting New Books You Need To Read "Myles's storytelling is as unconventional and allusive as ever, ranging from an imaginary talk show featuring Rosie as a guest to the more quotidian joys of loving an animal." --Estelle Tang, Elle, one of the Best Books to Read This Fall "The universal theme of attachment shines through in Eileen Myles's unconventional Afterglow . . . With great candor, Myles uses the emotional intimacy of a human's relationship with a dog to discuss larger questions of emotional intimacy . . . Afterglow illustrates the lasting bond between humans and dogs in a new way." --Tobias Carroll, Portland Press Herald "[Afterglow aims] to catalog life in gritty, naturalistic stills that, when amassed over time, form a lyrical whole, like a good grunge song . . . Myles works to bridge the power discrepancies between owner and dog, author and subject." --Maddie Crum, Los Angeles Review of Books "Wild and unruly . . . lively, conversational, and highly intelligent . . . [a] sincere elegiac reflection on a life shared with another being. Afterglow is a book about dogs, as well as the lessons of caretaking and intuition that they teach us, but it's also a book about listening and observing, about how we communicate and how we relate." --Caroline Tompkin, Vice "[Afterglow] incomparably materializes the imagination one uses when relating to a pet." --Rachel Davies, Nylon "Extraordinary . . . moving without being maudlin . . . Afterglow brings language to the nonverbal intimacy of a human life lived with a dog." --Nathan Goldman, Literary Hub "Offbeat . . . whimsical but philosophical." --Tom Beer, Newsday "[A] mixture of celebration and elegy . . . Eileen makes words bite and lick at weirdly sensitive regions never previously detected." --Charlie Fox, Spike "Afterglow stretches the boundaries of memoir, blending fact and fable. Raucous and elegiac, hilarious and heartbreaking, the book explores not only Myles' relationship with Rosie, but family and trauma; politics (including Myles' 1991-2 presidential campaign); memory; and poetry." --Alyssa Greene, Lambda Literary "Myles's work is a perfect example of what happens when you mix raw language with emotion, pets with loss, and sexuality with socioculturalism. A captivating look at a poet's repeated attempt 'to dig a hole in eternity' through language." --Kirkus Review (starred review) "A rare new breed of dog memoir; think Patti Smith's Just Kids, not Josh Grogan's Marley and Me, absinthe not saccharine." --Library Journal (starred review) "Poetic, heartrending, soothing, and funny, this is a mind-expanding contemplation of creation, the act and the noun, and the creatures whose deaths we presume will precede ours but whose lives make our own better beyond reason. To this, readers should bring tissues, pencil and paper, even their dogs." --Booklist (starred review) "Myles uses a pastiche approach to explore the bodily, cerebral, and esoteric/religious aspects of the grieving process, all of which is portrayed with meditative poignancy . . . Myles depicts the raw pathos of loss with keen insight." --Publishers Weekly "A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is, Afterglow is a truly astonishing creation." ―Helen Macdonald, author of the New York Times bestseller H Is for Hawk "What is a dog if not god? In Afterglow, Eileen Myles steps up to the challenge for writers to function as prophets. Ghostwritten in part by deceased pit bull Rosie, this 'dog memoir' explores―among other things―geometry, gender, mortality, evil, aging, and plaids. Myles makes new rules for what prose writing can be. Afterglow is Myles's funniest, profoundest work yet." ―Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker "Part eulogy, part homage, part love-letter, part madcap scrapbook . . . Love and loss are replayed and reimagined through the paranormal and surreal just as against the everyday and the earthly; the familial, communal, spiritual, sexual and bestial are all enlisted to spin the story of one special canine and her human. Only Eileen Myles could reinvent the memoir again so stunningly; Afterglow is the sort of multidimensional love story you could only expect from one of our greatest experimental writers living today!" --Porochista Khakpour, author of The Last Illusion and Sick: A Life of Lyme, Love, Illness, and Addiction "Following Eileen Myles around a dog is like following Leopold Bloom around Dublin. Reading Afterglow is like entering the company of a sensibility that is rich, original, witty, and tonally brilliant. It is the darting asides, the phrasing and the subplots that matter most in this book, that give pure, sheer constant pleasure." --Colm Tóibín, author of House of Names "Everything Eileen Myles touches turns to poetry. Whether called a dog or a cat, it's always poetry. Emily Dickinson famously decided that poetry was anything that made her 'feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off.' I can imagine Emily Dickinson writing an ecstatic blurb for Myles's tender, trippy, deep, yet humanely silly new gift to the world: Afterglow. In this age of fake news and even fake poetry, trust this voice!" ―Brad Gooch, author of Smash Cut and Rumi's Secret "What astounds me about Afterglow is the way in which Myles's mourning of the dog Rosie's death leads to surprising landscapes of thought in the language, where between sentences you're walking out into vast open-air arenas and every time you do this some new light goes on in your brain. You think you're reading about Eileen and a dog. You are reading about them, but with the complexities of their closeness always pointing farther up the field, asking why we're here, what we're going to do and with whom are we going to do it." --Renee Gladman, author of Calamities "Wildly inventive and just plain wild, feral, even, Eileen Myles's dazzling Afterglow is about a dog, and her owner, and everything else in life, and also death, too." ―Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins and All Grown Up