[W]hat Blackwell is describing here is the writer writing, physically existing in one place while trying to be in another. It is his concern with fundamental desire of the mortal subject, to be other, elsewhere, that drives his novel, and if its pages are filled with comic moments, then the specters of human isolation and self-obliteration (through alcohol, through abandoning loved ones, through acts of fantasy) are never far. The ways we imagine make us quirky creatures, but the practice has a tragic dimension, too, because using the imagination entails flight from the present, the pretense to escaping bodies that will one day expire, shed names, and decay physically and memorially until nothing remains. Perhaps, ultimately, no one person exists, and the real hero is language, possessing us all, body after body, day after day, generation after generation (the book’s epigraph Latin epigraph means, “While transformed, I resurge unchanged”).Read the rest of the review here.
Review of Shadow Man at the Rumpus
Hugh Sheehy (author of The Invisibles (Flannery O'Connor Prize)) reviewed Shadow Man for The Rumpus, saying, in part: