The Understory

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Product Details
Price
$15.95  $14.83
Publisher
Tin House Books
Publish Date
Pages
172
Dimensions
5.1 X 0.6 X 7.8 inches | 0.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781935639855
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author
Pamela Erens s first novel, "The Understory" was a finalist for both the 2007 "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize for First Fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her widely-acclaimed second novel, "The Virgins" was a "New York Times" and "Chicago Tribune" Editors' Choice. For many years she worked as a magazine editor, including "Glamour." She lives in Maplewood, NJ.
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Reviews

"I am amazed and moved by Pamela Erens's "The Understory." It brings to mind (and stands up well next to) such literary ancestors as Hamsun's Hunger, or Beckett's stories of the evicted, but it is uniquely tender in its treatment of the isolated mind's quest to keep alive what is most radiant and most fragile in the face of the brutal catastrophe of reality. Erens brings extraordinary powers of empathy and technical mastery to the character of Jack Gorse--normally the person we pass on the street and, after a token moment of pity, attempt to forget as rapidly as possible. In this book there is no turning away from him, or more accurately and terribly, from the world as he perceives it."
-- Franz Wright, author of "Walking to Martha's Vineyard," winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"This is a strange, haunting meditation on aloneness and the melancholy of frustrated love, written knowingly about a character bereft of self-knowledge. The language is precise and considered, the mood sustained, the effect at once narrative and poetic. A lovely, elegant debut novel."
-- Andrew Solomon, author of "The Noonday Demon," winner of the National Book Award, and "Far From the Tree," winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
"A wonderfully controlled portrait of a contemporary Underground Man -- a man who buries his life beneath the normal social interactions of modern-day Manhattan, so that what is inside of him might stay buried too."
-- Jonathan Dee, author of "The Privileges," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
"Pamela Erens's "The Understory" is at once an exquisite portrait of a man driven by forces beyond his control, an homage to Manhattan's secret places, and a deftly braided narrative that keeps the reader hungry to find out what happens next."
-- Rilla Askew, author of "Fire in Beulah," winner of the American Book Award
"Hauntingly abject...skillfully rendered...a sensitive, restrained debut."
--"Publishers Weekly"
"M
"I am amazed and moved by Pamela Erens's "The Understory." It brings to mind (and stands up well next to) such literary ancestors as Hamsun's Hunger, or Beckett's stories of the evicted, but it is uniquely tender in its treatment of the isolated mind's quest to keep alive what is most radiant and most fragile in the face of the brutal catastrophe of reality. Erens brings extraordinary powers of empathy and technical mastery to the character of Jack Gorse--normally the person we pass on the street and, after a token moment of pity, attempt to forget as rapidly as possible. In this book there is no turning away from him, or more accurately and terribly, from the world as he perceives it."
-- Franz Wright, author of "Walking to Martha's Vineyard," winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"This is a strange, haunting meditation on aloneness and the melancholy of frustrated love, written knowingly about a character bereft of self-knowledge. The language is precise and considered, the mood sustained, the effect at once narrative and poetic. A lovely, elegant debut novel."
-- Andrew Solomon, author of "The Noonday Demon," winner of the National Book Award, and "Far From the Tree," winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
"A wonderfully controlled portrait of a contemporary Underground Man -- a man who buries his life beneath the normal social interactions of modern-day Manhattan, so that what is inside of him might stay buried too."
-- Jonathan Dee, author of "The Privileges," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
"Pamela Erens's "The Understory" is at once an exquisite portrait of a man driven by forces beyond his control, an homage to Manhattan's secret places, and a deftly braided narrative that keeps the reader hungry to find out what happens next."
--Rilla Askew, author of "Fire in Beulah," winner of the American Book Award
"Erens follows this haggard, lonely man in his unremarkable every day without missing a detail...This solitary man
I am amazed and moved by Pamela Erens s "The Understory." It brings to mind (and stands up well next to) such literary ancestors as Hamsun's Hunger, or Beckett's stories of the evicted, but it is uniquely tender in its treatment of the isolated mind's quest to keep alive what is most radiant and most fragile in the face of the brutal catastrophe of reality. Erens brings extraordinary powers of empathy and technical mastery to the character of Jack Gorsenormally the person we pass on the street and, after a token moment of pity, attempt to forget as rapidly as possible. In this book there is no turning away from him, or more accurately and terribly, from the world as he perceives it.
Franz Wright, author of "Walking to Martha's Vineyard," winner of the Pulitzer Prize
This is a strange, haunting meditation on aloneness and the melancholy of frustrated love, written knowingly about a character bereft of self-knowledge. The language is precise and considered, the mood sustained, the effect at once narrative and poetic. A lovely, elegant debut novel.
Andrew Solomon, author of "The Noonday Demon," winner of the National Book Award, and "Far From the Tree," winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
A wonderfully controlled portrait of a contemporary Underground Man a man who buries his life beneath the normal social interactions of modern-day Manhattan, so that what is inside of him might stay buried too.
Jonathan Dee, author of "The Privileges," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Pamela Erens's "The Understory" is at once an exquisite portrait of a man driven by forces beyond his control, an homage to Manhattan's secret places, and a deftly braided narrative that keeps the reader hungry to find out what happens next.
Rilla Askew, author of "Fire in Beulah," winner of the American Book Award
"Erens follows this haggard, lonely man in his unremarkable every day without missing a detail...This solitary man who cannot connect even in a crowd, eventually implodes, and explodes, and the sense of following him through this process is a literary meditation I will long not forget. It is for this kind of fine literature that I hunger all my reading life, and find all too rarely."
Zinta Aistars, Gently Read Literature
Hauntingly abjectskillfully rendereda sensitive, restrained debut.
"Publishers Weekly"
Mesmerizinga universal human cry for love.
"ForeWord Magazine"
An elegant, understated study of physical and psychic dislocationsartfully detailed and beautifully rendered.
the "Chicago Tribune"
"This is storytelling at its finest, lightest and most complex. I enjoyed every moment of the time Jack and I spent together. I let my tea go cold as he talked. I hope one day we meet again, although, because of the way things go, I doubt we will."
LitReactor
Not your typical debutThe soul of this novel is its meditative lyricism, rendered in language that is as exquisite as it is penetrating.
"Small Spiral Notebook"
"The novel is a psychological study with an ending that will shock you."
BookTrib
"The Understory" comes to a gripping finale. Erensis a very talented writer, and this slender volume is a welcome addition to contemporary fiction.
"Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide"
This novel derives its power from Erens' ability to create a character who is simultaneously repulsive and sympathetic. [She has] given us insight into the very human desire to make this world and our lives matter.
"El Paso Times"
Pamela Erens s novel is a letter bomb of a book, pulsing with savage potency.
The Elegant Variation
We have such a deep understanding of and sympathy for the engaging but troubled Jack that we willingly follow him into the dark corners of his wounded psyche.
"Rain Taxi"
In a book that begs for stellar acting in a cinematic treatment, the fascinated reader bears witness as events follow a collision course.
"Booklist""