Stephanie's Reviews > Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
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Apr 22, 12


A resonant, intelligent novel by the author of Eat the Document about a woman's relationship with her brother, a reclusive musician who, as well as creating music, documents his work in "Chronicles" that include fictitious reviews, fanzines, etc. It resembles her previous book in a few plot details and in that it comes at its themes from different angles: here, memory and loss, the representation of reality, also empathy--I guess what it means to "know" something. I missed the more complex structure of Eat the Document but once I adjusted to this book's more linear nature, I found there was plenty there. Everything seemed to relate somehow to everything else. In one stream-of-consciousness chapter, the main character, Denise, who is worried about memory loss (her mother has early dementia), tries to recover the name "Jane Mansfield." In another, she is watching the news and her responses are constantly interrupted by the banner headlines on the screen. The brother was apparently based on Spiotta's stepfather. Reminded me of Egan's Goon Squad book and of course DeLillo: Spiotta seems to be a protege.
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