Fare Forward: Letters from David Markson

David Markson, Author, Laura Sims, Editor, Ann Beattie, Afterword by, Ann Beattie, Foreword by, Ann Beattie, Contribution by
Edited by Laura Sims. PowerHouse, $12.95 trade paper (156p) ISBN 978-1-57687-700-5
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In this slim volume, poet/literary critic Sims (Stranger) collects the written correspondence she received from writer David Markson over an eight-year period leading up to his death in 2010. Their exchanges began when Sims sent Markson what she calls, somewhat sheepishly, an "impassioned fan letter." The brief notes—letters and postcards, as Markson had no computer—provide a lively sectional glimpse of the life and personality of this important and as yet undervalued writer, and reveal a man who is playful and humorous, opinionated and sincere, kind and thoughtful. Though the book includes only Markson's side of their conversation, Sims contextualizes the letters with footnotes where necessary. The book also includes supplemental materials mentioned in the letters: an essay by Sims on Markson, originally published in The New England Review; an interview with Markson by Sims, from Rain Taxi; remarks from an AWP panel on Markson; and a touching afterword by Ann Beattie. Readers familiar with the late novelist's work will find much in these pages; but even readers with only a passing familiarity will be rewarded. (Apr.)
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