I recently flew coast to coast, and time dissolved thanks to the book in my hand. It isn't often that a novel is filled with language that makes you pause and marvel... both evocative and liquid, a sharp, alien experience in the mind, one of delight and curiosity. Michael Cunningham's SPECIMEN DAYS is a trio of linked novellas ranging from Victorian England to an imagined future. All three with clues, objects, and characters that echo an anchor note of Walt Whitman, the last Great American Visionary poet and his work "Leaves of Grass." I found myself visually stunned, confounded, moved, and again and again setting the book down to marvel at Cunningham's feat of vision married to fascinating characters and exquisite language, an ode to American Letters. If the Nobel Prize Committee freely criticizes American writers for their insular inwardness and Americana, then this book is the rebuttal. There is so much to look at, so much art between the pages of American writers, historical and present.