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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A new edition of a classic of contemporary American literature, first published in 1997 by Sun & Moon Press but unavailable in recent years.

Dra—, the nondescript heroine of this grim, hilarious fiction, might have fallen through the same hole as Lewis Carroll's Alice, only now, 130 years later, there's no time for frivolity, just the pressing need to get a job. In a se
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Verse Chorus Press (first published 1997)
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Nate D
Mar 26, 2014 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: job seekers, employees
Recommended to Nate D by: Nathanimal
Eternally job-searching in a dystopian indoor world of drab office corridors void of value, meaning, or hope. This has kind of mind-numbing quality, but in an intentional and effective way, as events gradually pile up without any chance of success or progress. How can sense or progress exist when the the purposes that can exist are external, pointless, and probably agonizing? Our protagonist Dra- (Nathanimal described her perfectly as "so unformed that that she doesn't even have a full name) is ...more
oh what can one say about stacey levine? Lucy Ellmann has emulated it, Lorrie Moore would be jealous of it, Bernard Share has guffawed over it, Rikki Ducornet has already done it with water and desire, but stacey levine has written a story of longing, love, work, and administrators (and feces) that puts one in Alice's Wonderland without any possibilty whatsoever of cakes. Here's a short excerpt from near the climax when Dra--- is thinking back to her time in school:
"No one in school had spoken
you won't like it... but i did!
Jul 10, 2012 S.B. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of Anna Kavan, Jean Rhys, and Aimee Bender
When I try conveying my love for this book, all that comes out is monotonous, throaty sounds that don't make words of any kind. When I feel this way about certain books (there are very few of them and they are all by women), it tends to be non-communicable. Most other people will read the same book and won't feel it deserves so much adoration. I think it's because people have 'favorite things' that are favorites for completely personal reasons and that's why it never made sense to me when asked ...more
This is a difficult book to rate, since it's tone is one part depressing and one part absurd comedy. And all of the characters seem to have unnatural (natural?) obsessions with their feces (yes, you read that right) which every time they're mentioned, give you a jolt. a very weird book about Dra-'s obsession with acquiring employment, apparently the zenith of achievement . . . the book is a wry observation of capitalist culture and the anxiety and resignation of all the human cogs in the wheel w ...more
The secretary shifted. "Sometimes we need someone older, don't we?" And Dra- heard the woman's eyes click open and shut and felt the cool draft of her breath as they sat together uncomfortably on the office chair, rocking slightly.
"I've wondered how people fit together, and speak, and stay together," Dra- murmured.
"Oh? I know just what you mean!" said the secretary.
"You do? How does it work, then -- how do people stay with one another so easily and talk for such a long time, as if it were no
One of my favorites, if not still my favorite book. Levine writes incredibly funny and unpredictable prose, whose giddy moments turn quickly from dark to light. Her descriptions are always amazing and the interactions among ambient characters both bizzarly mundane and gravely existential. The prose escalates in ways that one cannot imagine, then veers in yet another startling direction, only to fizzle into a pit like one's emotions at the end of long tedious work day. I'm not a good reviewer, bu ...more
Kaushik Viswanath
One of those books I didn't particularly enjoy while I was reading it, but refused to get out of my head when I was done. Stacey Levine has Kafka's sense of humour: terrifying, absurd, nightmarish.
Zach Doss
The most Kafkaesque book it is possible to read without actually reading something Kafka wrote. This is not a criticism.
Jacquie Leighton
I did not read this. Mistakenly clicked on it.
Apr 11, 2010 Sarah rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: postmodern absurdists
This really didn't work for me. It's a bit hard to describe...I'd say it reminds me of a cross between Pinter and Kafka and a hyperactive child who's playing dumb.
Brian Sendelbach
Alice in Wonderland in Franz Kafka. I've read it three times.
Steve Owen
A wonderful update and homage to Kafka's The Trial.
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Stacey Levine is the author of My Horse and Other Stories (PEN/West Award, 1994) and the novels Dra--- and Frances Johnson (Finalist, 2005 Washington State Book Award). A Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of the 2009 Stranger Genius Award in Literature, her fiction has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, Fence, Tin House, The Fairy Tale Review, Yeti, and other venues. Levine has contributed to Am ...more
More about Stacey Levine...
Frances Johnson The Girl with Brown Fur: Tales and Stories My Horse and Other Stories Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small; a ten-minute play The Apocalypse Reader

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