"The Mandarin" does at least pretend to be an ordinary novel. It is set in places that no longer exist in Minneapolis - houses and apartments where one of the characters used to live, businesses and restaurants that have closed or moved elsewhere. Its narrator, Willy, writes boring novels that put everyone to sleep. The plot develops recursively rather than progressively, as a kind of theme-and-variations; usually one of the characters is in a house or a room, and the others are outside trying to get in. "The Mandarin" is written almost entirely in dialogue; as a result, actions and events tend to occur within a nimbus of uncertainty. Consciousness tends to be communal rather than personal. "The Mandarin" preserves the conventions of the novel: the speakers are individualized characters speaking in an identifiable situation. This means that, at any moment, the characters might stop talking and start doing something. Of course, they won't, but this option is always available to them.
Buy The Mandarin book by Aaron Kunin from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(209mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Fence Magazine Inc, Division of Fence Books
Publisher: Fence Magazine Inc, Division of Fence Books
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Aaron Kunin
AARON KUNIN is a poet, critic, and novelist. He is the author of Folding Ruler Star (Fence Books, 2005), a collection of small poems about shame. He lives in California, where he is an assistant professor of negative anthropology at Pomona College.