Monday, March 14, 2011

Expelled from Eden by William T. Vollmann

My first introduction to William T. Vollmann came in an interview in BookForum about five or six years ago. I was intrigued, and decided to start with the then recently published Expelled from Eden, which collects excerpts from all of his novels, as well as essays, journalism, interviews, and letters, providing a window into Vollmann's voice, style, and breadth of work. I'm not sure I read the whole thing (certainly not straight through), rather leafing through it, reading bits of it here and there. Since then I've endured a number of his books (I think endured is the right word--while beautifully written, the subject matter is often bleak and horrific) and intend to read more. Eventually. I haven't worked up the nerve to tackle Imperial yet (1,200 pages about the California county right on the Mexican border) but I'll get there.

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