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Afterglow: (a dog memoir)
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"A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is...astonishing." ?Helen Macdonald, New York Times-bestselling author of H Is for HawkIn 1990, poet Eileen Myles chose Rosie from a litter of pit bulls on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer's life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog's well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull, from lyrical transcriptions of their walks to Rosie's enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog."Myles gets at something no other dog book I've read has gotten at quite this distinctly: The sense of wordless connection and spiritual expansion you feel when you love and are loved by a creature who's not human...raw and affecting." ?Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR

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Street Date:
09/12/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802188786
ASIN:
B074N8FYHM
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APA Citation (style guide)

Eileen Myles. (2017). Afterglow: (a dog memoir). Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Eileen Myles. 2017. Afterglow: (a Dog Memoir). Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Eileen Myles, Afterglow: (a Dog Memoir). Grove Atlantic, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Eileen Myles. Afterglow: (a Dog Memoir). Grove Atlantic, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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shortDescription

"A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is...astonishing." ?Helen Macdonald, New York Times-bestselling author of H Is for Hawk
In 1990, poet Eileen Myles chose Rosie from a litter of pit bulls on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer's life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog's well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.
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"A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is...astonishing." ?Helen Macdonald, New York Times-bestselling author of H Is for Hawk
In 1990, poet Eileen Myles chose Rosie from a litter of pit bulls on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer's life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog's well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.
Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull, from lyrical transcriptions of their walks to Rosie's enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog.
"Myles gets at something no other dog book I've read has gotten at quite this distinctly: The sense of wordless connection and spiritual expansion you feel when you love and are loved by a creature who's not human...raw and affecting." ?Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Sigrid Nunez, New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Unflinching but also irrepressibly humorous. [Myles's] grief at losing Rosie is profound; it is also a revelation . . . Myles possesses, in abundance, two qualities of the highest value for a writer, irreverence and relentless curiosity, and here both are on full display . . . because [Afterglow] is a love story, and because, like any serious book about death, it is full of life, it has a celebratory feel to it . . . the writing here, by turns playful, heartfelt, wise, compassionate, fantastical and audaciously confessional, should please many."
      • premium: False
      • source: Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR
      • content: "Afterglow is a mutt elegy in a million . . . Myles gets at something no other dog book I've read has gotten at quite this distinctly: The sense of wordless connection and spiritual expansion you feel when you love and are loved by a creature who's not human . . . It's raw and affecting, and in its wild snuffling way, utterly original."
      • premium: False
      • source: Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
      • content: "You'll laugh, and you'll cry, yes, but you'll also think hard, as you work to pull together the many disparate, cosmic, and charming notions Myles sets forth . . . with quicksilver intellect and whimsy fully engaged . . . [Afterglow is] wry, far-flung, and wonderfully loving."
      • premium: False
      • source: Melissa Broder, Bookforum
      • content: "Afterglow portrays a complex and often hilarious relationship between two animals, characterized by love and deep interrogation of power, creativity, and point of view . . . for Myles, a dog becomes the surrogate for a sort of vicarious enlightenment . . . an ever-deepening investigation into the nature of human-being-ness, self-knowledge, and knowing things outside of yourself . . . A book that's wise to miscommunication but hungry to overcome it, Afterglow celebrates that rare authorial ability to get out of one's own way and show us a singular and limber mind roaming free."
      • premium: False
      • source: Helena Fitzgerald, Rolling Stone
      • content: "Fantastical . . . wrenching . . . obsession becomes a way to process grief."
      • premium: False
      • source: Claire Luchette, O, the Oprah Magazine
      • content: "To read Eileen Myles is to feel as if the poet, after spotting you across the room at a crowded party, has guided you by the elbow to a private corner to confide their personal theories of the universe. Afterglow is just that intimate. Part elegy, part meditation, part performance art . . . poignant, sweeping."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed, one of 28 Exciting New Books You Need To Read
      • content: "Tender, lyrical."
      • premium: False
      • source: Estelle Tang, Elle, one of the Best Books to Read This Fall
      • content: "Myles's storytelling is as unconventional and allusive as ever, ranging from an imaginary talk show featuring Rosie as a guest to the more quotidian joys of loving an animal."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tobias Carroll, Portland Press Herald
      • content: "The universal theme of attachment shines through in Eileen Myles's unconventional Afterglow . . . With great candor, Myles uses the emotional intimacy of a human's relationship with a dog to discuss larger questions of emotional intimacy . . . Afterglow illustrates the lasting bond between humans and dogs in a new way."
      • premium: False
      • source: Maddie Crum, Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: "[Afterglow aims] to catalog life in gritty, naturalistic stills that, when amassed over time, form a lyrical whole, like a good grunge song . . . Myles works to bridge the power discrepancies between owner and dog, author and subject."
      • premium: False
      • source: Caroline Tompkin, Vice
      • content: "Wild and unruly . . . lively, conversational, and highly intelligent . . . [a] sincere elegiac reflection on a life shared with another being. Afterglow is a book about dogs, as well as the lessons of caretaking and intuition that they teach us, but it's also a book about listening and observing, about how we communicate and how we relate."
      • premium: False
      • source: Rachel Davies, Nylon
      • content: "[Afterglow] incomparably materializes the imagination one uses when relating to a pet."
      • premium: False
      • source: Nathan Goldman, Literary Hub
      • content: "Extraordinary . . . moving without being maudlin . . . Afterglow brings language to the nonverbal intimacy of a human life lived with a dog."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tom Beer, Newsday
      • content: "Offbeat . . . whimsical but philosophical."
      • premium: False
      • source: Charlie Fox, Spike
      • content: "[A] mixture of celebration and elegy . . . Eileen makes words bite and lick at weirdly sensitive regions never previously detected."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alyssa Greene, Lambda Literary
      • content: "Afterglow stretches the boundaries of memoir, blending fact and fable. Raucous and elegiac, hilarious and heartbreaking, the book explores not only Myles' relationship with...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 19, 2017
        Poet and novelist Myles (Inferno) reflects on 16 years with their pit bull Rosie. Inspired by Rosie’s death, Myles uses a pastiche approach to explore the bodily, cerebral, and esoteric/religious aspects of the grieving process, all of which is portrayed with meditative poignancy. The feeling of watching a beloved pet’s decline is rendered bittersweet: “Our present had a pastness to it every day.” There is humor, as the author recalls a fruitless attempt to breed Rosie (“I wondered if I was doing something illegal. Letting dogs have sex in my building”). There’s a chapter written as the transcript of a surrealist puppet show, wherein Rosie informs the audience that she has been writing Myles’s material since 1990. Myles also brings Hitler’s art, 14th-century tapestries, and Abu Ghraib into the narrative, and writes in the voice of Bo Jean Harmonica, an alter ego of sorts whose gender is categorized pithily: “I’m a man but there’s a woman in it.” Though there are occasional meandering thematic digressions, these seem a part of the journey. Myles depicts the raw pathos of loss with keen insight.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2017

        Myles--poet, novelist, feminist presidential candidate, professor, librettist, nonfiction writer, inspiration for the lesbian poet character Leslie Mackinaw on the show Transparent, and Guggenheim fellow--has written a love letter to her beloved pit bull Rosie. Myles's phantasmagoric account of her 16 years with Rosie--and many years without her--includes not only a sorrowful retelling of decline and illness but also a recital of the facts of Rosie's first mating, in the nerve-wracking chapter "The Rape of Rosie," as well as various imaginings of Rosie's thoughts (not to mention her remarks as a talk show guest). Myles wanders through complicated family relationships, a history of alcoholism, and her credo of writing on her way to delivering a singular portrait of Rosie. Readers in search of an anodyne for their grief will find it buried deep in the midst of her swirling prose. VERDICT Myles succeeds here in producing a rare new breed of dog memoir: think Patti Smith's Just Kids, not John Grogan's Marley and Me, absinthe not saccharine. [See Prepub Alert, 5/3/17.]--Therese Purcell Nielsen, Huntington P.L., NY

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2017

        Myles--poet, novelist, feminist presidential candidate, professor, librettist, nonfiction writer, inspiration for the lesbian poet character Leslie Mackinaw on the show Transparent, and Guggenheim fellow--has written a love letter to her beloved pit bull Rosie. Myles's phantasmagoric account of her 16 years with Rosie--and many years without her--includes not only a sorrowful retelling of decline and illness but also a recital of the facts of Rosie's first mating, in the nerve-wracking chapter "The Rape of Rosie," as well as various imaginings of Rosie's thoughts (not to mention her remarks as a talk show guest). Myles wanders through complicated family relationships, a history of alcoholism, and her credo of writing on her way to delivering a singular portrait of Rosie. Readers in search of an anodyne for their grief will find it buried deep in the midst of her swirling prose. VERDICT Myles succeeds here in producing a rare new breed of dog memoir: think Patti Smith's Just Kids, not John Grogan's Marley and Me, absinthe not saccharine. [See Prepub Alert, 5/3/17.]--Therese Purcell Nielsen, Huntington P.L., NY

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2017

        A "kick-ass counter-cultural icon" (The New Yorker) with 20 books and a stack of awards to her name, Myles goes heartfelt with an account of a pit bull named Rosie she kept by her side for 16 years. Mourning Rosie's death, Myles recounts how Rosie has shaped her life and work--more than just saving her, as the tagline usually goes, but making her who she is.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2017
        A memoir that stretches the limits of its genre by making a dog the textual centerpiece. Notorious poet Myles (I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014, 2015, etc.) strikes again with an irreverently poetic memoir that traces her experience losing her pit bull Rosie. The book begins with a hand-addressed letter Myles received in 1999 that reads, "I take the liberty...of forcing you to legally take responsibility for the damages you have inflicted over a period of nine years upon the being you have taken to calling 'Rosie.' I am Rosie's lawyer." From there, the author spirals into an introspective look at what it means to be a dog and to be at the mercy of another human. Myles divides the book into a series of mostly brief episodes--some true, some made-up, many experimental in structure and tone--that reflect Rosie's thoughts as well as the author's experiences with her own thoughts, but it never becomes overly nostalgic or sad. "The past is so often a place whose colors are only in my mind," writes Myles. Certainly, readers may feel like much of the narrative's meat happens offstage, but that's part of the author's charm. "I like to make it heavier sometimes. Saying versions of the same thing," she writes, "I mean here. You probably already guessed it but I like saying it again. That one little piece again with a twist. And a thud. I don't feel this way about everything but there are moments that need to be heavy. As a fact. Not an idea." Rarely too heavy to be approachable, Myles' work is a perfect example of what happens when you mix raw language with emotion, pets with loss, and sexuality with socioculturalism. A captivating look at a poet's repeated attempt "to dig a hole in eternity" through language.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2017
        For more than 16 years, Myles was companioned by a pit bull named Rosie until Rosie did what dogs do and left the author to navigate a post-Rosie world, solo. In the after of Rosie, poet Myles, the author of more than 20 books, including the novels Chelsea Girls (1994) and Cool for You (2000), writes this unconventional, uncontainable, phantasmagoric memoir of dog and owner. To let Rosie herself tell it, Afterglow is totally a book with legs (four if I can be dumb) so it will go a lot further than your earlier Eileen-based fictions. Here are small moments and large ones, like actual transcriptions of memories; here's Rosie as author, Rosie interviewed on a puppet talk show, Rosie as god, Rosie as Myles' father. Myles catalogs Rosie-related objects and chronicles the seeking of an ancestral home in Ireland and reading science fiction in San Diego during Rosie's last summer. Poetic, heartrending, soothing, and funny, this is a mind-expanding contemplation of creation, the act and the noun, and the creatures whose deaths we presume will precede ours but whose lives make our own better beyond reason. To this, readers should bring tissues, pencil and paper, even their dogs.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

subtitle
(a dog memoir)
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