Friday, January 22, 2010

Shout out to John D'Agata

who probably doesn't need too many shout outs these days, but who am I kidding: we all need shout outs when deserved (and sometimes when not). Actually I have never officially given anyone a "shout out" before. Do people still do that? Do we still give props to our peeps? Hmm. Sad days when I'm not sure what pop culture I am trying to enter. Sometimes I feel like I am buried about eight years in the past. At any rate, John's new book-length essay, About a Mountain, comes out on 2/8 (though Amazon appears to be shipping it). One of its most fascinating features is his really extensive section of notes at the end (at least in my galley) which details many--presumably all, since what would be the point of just enumerating 20 pages worth if you're not going to go all out--of the ways in which he conflated or manipulated things in the book. It reads like a response to the oververificationists in the world who live to pull apart the new fudged memoirs. I'm not sure it's strictly necessary, but he is one of the smart kids, and I found it pleasing. He reads at University of Arizona on 2/22 if you're in Tucson. He reads up in currently snowed-in, snowblind Flagstaff a day or two previous.


  1. I heard him read from this then-unfinished manuscript in 2007. I still think about the Scream section on a regular basis.

    Also, there were some really stiff-collar-pipe-smoking-professor-types trying to pin D'agata down to define "creative nonfiction." His argumentative two-step was more like crunking. He crushed those fools.

  2. Yes! He's here in Flag on February 19th! I'll do my own post even though I don't have the galleys I do have the book itself (shipped in one day before the storm hit. Thanks Amazon.) I too remember him reading from this long ago. It goes to show how slow, methodical work pays off.

  3. My students are super excited to be reading About a Mountain this semester, and I'm super excited to be teaching it. I wish I could be out west to join you all in the readings.