The Laughter of the Sphinx


Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.8 X 0.3 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of twelve previous novels of medical suspense, all international bestsellers. In addition to his writing, Palmer is an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency, including alcoholism. In what spare time he has, Palmer is a weight lifter and avid tournament bridge player. He lives in Massachusetts, where he is best known for his two phantasmagoric cats and three incomparably witty sons. Visit and write him at


Exemplarily radical.--John Ashbery
Palmer manages to cut deep into the unknowable appeal of the best poetry, some of which Palmer can claim to have written.--Jonathon Sturgeon "Flavorwire"
Depending on the poem, the laughter here is by turns bitter, wistful even playful, but typically inflected by a sense of enigma. Returning again and again to songs and singing, to voices and voicelessness, Palmer continues to push the boundaries of poetry with dream songs that explore the place of poetry in a surreal world 'where headless horseman sing/fevered songs/of self and war.' Palmer writes with uncanny precision about this world, a world that this book finds to be as beautiful as it is violated, and his poetry often achieves an ecstatic pitch, but one in which pain is rarely absent.--Jon Thompson "Free Verse"
Palmer's poems can suggest multiverses, silent but spectrally there.--James Gibbons "Hyperallergic"
The music in these verses never exhausts itself [...] Palmer recomposes the measures of poetic song for our time.--Benjamin Hollander "New York Times Book Review"
Magnificent ... an astringent blend of surrealism and symbolism.-- "The New York Times Book Review"
The most influential avant-gardist working, and perhaps the greatest poet of his generation. His genius is for making the world strange again.-- "Village Voice"
Palmer is among America's most elegant--and abstract--heirs to modernist poetry.-- "The Believer"