OVERRIDE

Cutty, One Rock

Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained

August Kleinzahler

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Cutty, One Rock takes the reader on a wild journey by airplane, bus, ferry, and foot from childhood to early manhood in the company of a New Jersey family in equal measures cultivated and deranged. We witness scenes of passionate, even violent intensity that give rise to meditations on eros and literature, the solitariness of travel, and the poetics of place.

These individual pieces, most of which first appeared in The London Review of Books and won an international cult following, are by turns "poignant, surreal, down home and lyrical, a mixture of qualities that inheres in his language with uncommon delicacy and effect" (Leonard Michaels). Together they make up an intellectual and emotional autobiography on the run. The book's final section, about Kleinzahler's adored, doomed older brother, is unforgettable, and since its appearance last year in the LRB, has already entered the literature as one of the most moving contemporary memoirs.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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  Cutty, One Rock
Part OneTHE DOG, THE FAMILY: A HOUSEHOLD TALEIt was the dog who raised me. Oh, the others came and went with their nurturing gestures and concerns, but it was the dog on whose ear I teethed and who watched me through countless hours with the sagacity and bearing of a Ugandan tribal chief.You can see him straining at the collar as my mother, dressed to the nines, first introduced him to me, freshly home from the hospital, lying across the nurse’s lap, almost afloat, like an early Renaissance Christ child. You can see the muscles in his shoulders and neck. Perhaps
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REVIEWS

Praise for Cutty, One Rock

"Offbeat, offhand, subtle, and unsettling . . . Longer acquaintance with Kleinzahler's verse brings greater admiration." --Stephen Burt, Voice Literary Supplement

"Kleinzahler's writing [is] tied to an abiding sense of tradition, an inventive American idiom with daring gradations of tone, and an extraordinary range of lyric nuance." --David Biespiel, Speakeasy

"August Kleinzahler is the ideal drinking companion, even if you don't drink, even if you're in another area code, even if it's Monday morning. His mix of comedy and heartbreak is sublime, and he can throw a sentence up in the air that will flip twice before coming down." --Luc Sante, author of Low Life

"This is a beautiful book--mournful, swaggering, bleak, hilarious--full of piercing and often loving assessments of life and art. Kleinzahler's low characters aren't the ten people you'll meet in heaven, but meeting them in these pages is, for friends of feeling, a kind of paradise." --Sam Lipsyte, author of Venus Drive

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • August Kleinzahler

  • August Kleinzahler is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently The Strange Hours Travelers Keep. He lives in San Francisco.
  • August Kleinzahler Laura Wilson
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Available Formats and Book Details

Cutty, One Rock

Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained

August Kleinzahler

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