A Dog Memoir

eBook - 2017
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This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter 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 wellbeing, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) 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 (a dog memoir) illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog.
Publisher: [United States]: Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2017.
ISBN: 9780802188786
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Jan 31, 2018

Eileen Myles deserves her reputation as a startling frank and forthright poet, but I found her effort here to be too haphazard to rate more than two stars. While some parts of the book offer honest and heartfelt insight into the human and animal bond, one has to wade through far too much pretentious stream of consciousness crap to fully relax into the author's voice with any regularity.

Myles is most effective when she is writing directly about her beloved pit bull, Rosie, or when she is channeling her pup's voice from the after life. In those moments her writing voice rings true and clear, her insights appear effortlessly, and her honesty is so rewarding. At other moments, for example when Myles has her childhood sock puppet interview Rosie about her abuse by the author, I could respect that Myles was experimenting with narrative in a creative way, even if I did not get much from it. I also flipped my way through a number of wasted pages of conversation that were too confusing to pay much attention to. Who is speaking? What are they talking about? As a reader I felt excluded from whatever experience Myles was trying to offer here & fI wound up feeling quite annoyed by the coyness of it all.

I really reached my limit though with the core of the book, which was consumed by a rambling, over intellectualized spasm of free association that spoke about foam but came across like being hit on the head with a verbal bat. I admit to a certain petty annoyance with writers that I feel stray too far into forms of mental masturbation that seems to wish to punish the reader for not understanding the greatness of the author when the author is obviously making every effort to be unattainable--think Borges, Pound, Nietzsche, et al--but I don't know that Myles was really trying to be obtuse here. I suppose I could see this sagging middle passage as another experiment but there was a rigidness and a righteousness to it that I just resisted and thoroughly disliked.

I can imagine recommending this book to people who already appreciate Ms. Myles style, or to those who are willing to ride along with a writer as they explore different voices & different approaches. If you are coming to this book for a more straight forward and well told story about a girl and her dog though you might very well find yourself disappointed.


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Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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