teaching

about Little is Left to Tell

author

review of LILTT by Grant Miller @ necessary fiction

review of LILTT by Corina Villanueva @ American Book Review (exc.)

blog tour reviews

excerpt

“… a deeply rich and surprising novel.” Amina Cain

“A vivid story that uses the language and metaphors of myth to reflect on the unkind nature of age and perception.” Kirkus Reviews

“We go underground in this book, and keep digging, with hooves and claws, until we’ve surfaced into a timeless flood that absorbs all of the communites, animal and imagined, populating this entangled network of narratives that destroys yet refuses to stop regenerating.” Daniel Borzutzky

“… hallucinatory pleasures … await the reader in Steven Hendricks’ debut novel. The classics on future acid, coupled with deep emotion.” Brian Whitener

“…a powerful meditation on the real and the imaginary, consciousness and family, interspecies friendship, and the imbrications of animal and human experience in landscapes torn apart by violence.” Miranda Mellis

Chapter One available at The Brooklyn Rail

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INTRODUCTION
Scarcely able to see well-enough to read, Mr Fin nevertheless indulges in old familiar novels, classics that he can recompose from a bit of text. As his connection to the world fades, old Mr Fin finds a measure of delight in the vividness of memories that crop up, especially the stories he used to invent for his long-lost son, David.

From the half-remembered bedtime stories and scenes from The Odyssey, The Old Man and the Sea, Don Quixote, work by Maurice Blanchot, Hart Crane, Mallarmé, and lines from Virginia Woolf, Mr Fin draws the materials he needs to approach the limits of his life. But as the stories press upon him, the possibility that he might reconnect with his son leaves him isolated in his home, searching in books and in his and David’s troubled past for some peace, some way to soothe the troubled characters of their broken world of stories.

The stories are overwhelming, multiplying and repeating patterns like a fugue: a family of rabbits, searching for a place to bury their eldest brother; a flying tree that carries our heroes but can’t save them; a bear half-eaten by a colony of ants, searching for a book; zeppelins of iron and flesh that devour cities; the big-bad wolf—now domesticated as pulp-fiction writer Virginia the Wolf, finishing her last novel; Hart Crane, a rabbit who eats printed words and speaks in poetry; Orpheus and Eurydice, adventurers between the world of the living and the dead; Odysseus, hatching new plans after the horse has failed; an alphabet trapped in the mind of a goat-boy; a young wolf who must brave the path through the woods to her grandmother’s house; fish-children, alone in an abandoned village, who must reinvent the world.

One must be drenched in words

-Hart Crane

I took the title, Little is Left to Tell, from Beckett’s entr’acte, Ohio Impromptu, an 11-minute play staged with two identical actors seated across from one another at a table. Only one speaks throughout the play, and only to read from a book. “Little is left to tell…”, he begins, recounting a loss and a grief to the other, whose only action is to knock on the table when he wants a line repeated. Eventually, there is nothing left to repeat, and the end must arrive.