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A Good Place To Start

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The Verificationist 1

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Donald Antrim (1958 - )

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

sharon August 30th, 2006 04:55 PM PST

I haven't yet read Donald Antrim's novels, but a great place to begin for any reader would be his current (2006) memoir, The Afterlife. This is a tragicomic account of the author's relationship with his mother, who died recently. She was an alcoholic, an erratic, irresponsible and yet loving mother, to whom the author feels inextricably bound even after her death. In addition to drinking, often to the point of stupor, she designed dresses, and her creations, described in vivid and comic detail, tended to the surreal, with quite wild appendages attached to each outfit. Antrim is sympathetic yet merciless towards both himself and his mother, as well as to one or two of the men she lived with, who were as eccentric and as unpredictable as she was. This might have been a lugubrious or self-indulgent account, but instead, through the author's wit, style and insight, it is a moving testimony to an unfinished relationship that still haunts him.

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