"Martone's essays are dazzling high wire acts in the 'theater of betweenness'—enacting and exploring elusive states of being and becoming. Watch Martone cast his father as a green, velour, female millipede mascot! See Coach Bob Knight perform as a dazzleflauge trickster! Observe the word 'gawk' turned into an epistemological adventure up an elevator shaft and beyond! Postcards, racing, eye charts, the Midwest and much more are read as ciphers, mysteries, forms to turn this way and that in the light of both reason and play. While Martone tunes his ever-alert ear to the 'logo' in logos, he also addresses 'the texture of absence, the heft of loss, the substantial mass of all that.' In this compelling simultaneity, he achieves—in essay after essay—a deeply humane register."
—Lia Purpura, author of On Looking
"The thing that's so frustrating about Michael Martone is that his wonderful mercurial tendencies don't let those of us in nonfiction completely call him our own."
"Racing in Place is a fine collection of essays, a worthy addition to the genre that Montaigne set in motion.
—Steven Harvey, Fourth Genre
Martone, as Peter Turchi has said, looks “under stones the rest of us leave unturned.” So, what is he really up to when he dwells on the make of Malcolm X’s eyeglasses or the runner-up names for Snow White’s seven dwarfs? In “My Mother Invents a Tradition,” Martone tells how his mom, as the dean of girls at a brand-new high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, “constructed a nostalgic past out of nothing.” Sitting at their dining room table, she came up with everything from the school colors (orange and brown) to the yearbook title (Bear Tracks). Look, and then look again, Martone is saying. “You never know. I never know.”
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List price: $18.95
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