A remarkable new essay about, in part, Gene Smith’s Sink was published this week by Affidavit magazine. In “What Wasn’t There” London-based writer Emily LaBarge considers Sink alongside writers I revere including novelists Nathalie Léger, Lydia Davis, and Fleur Jaeggy. In particular, Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden is one of my favorite books of recent years. I’ve read it three times. I’m grateful to be part of such a thoughtful and original piece by LaBarge. A writer can’t ask for more. Here’s a line from LaBarge’s essay:
In Gene’s Smith Sink, through Stephenson’s sensitive writing and structuring, it is as if a biography could be a tendency or a pure form, rather than a series of facts. A biography could be the affinities of all the people it contains and their collective predilections—as if they share something deep and elemental, all versions, iterations of the same substance.