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The Fifth Wall (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Sheila has always been ambivalent about her family. On a trip home to visit friends, she sets out to surprise her mother only to witness the most awful death you could imagine - her mother's suicide. And that's just the prologue. How do you deal with grief and PTSD at the same time? You set up a camera and film the slow, physical deconstruction of your home. One of the most moving books I've read. - randy

— From The Standards


In this daring debut novel following in the hallowed footsteps of
Black Sparrow titans Charles Bukowski and Lucia Berlin, Rachel
Nagelberg, a true literary pioneer, explores the frail line between
the human impulse to control everything and the futility of
excessive effort to do so. Incorporating cinematic elements
and with her background in visual art apparent throughout,
Nagelberg pushes the boundaries of the novel form while tackling
timely themes of feminism, terrorism, and technology with
razor-sharp wit and self-awareness. What Thackeray's Vanity
Fair did for Victorian society, Nagelberg's novel does for 21st
century America (and in a much more portable format). Combining
the emotional depth of Eileen Myles with a plot worthy
of a David Lynch film, this readable, literary, and thought-provoking
work is for anyone who questions the status quo.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781574232288
ISBN-10: 1574232282
Publisher: Black Sparrow Press
Publication Date: May 15th, 2017
Language: English