"A deeply melancholic and moving work of art."-Carole Maso
Every writer is a man or woman resuscitated, brought back for a little while before being dismissed. While I was hovering in bed barely asleep, my father would sneak in to check on me. Sometimes he came in the shape of a stranger, but his black eyes with a mark of sorrow never changed. When I was younger I could run so fast my shadow would fly off me. I would leave it behind in the city where I was born. There was no city, only my mother's arms. Dear grief, hermetic as a goat's skull. The future where you are, but how to get there except waiting another year.
The narrator in Thomas Heise's adventurous novel tries to fuse together his present and past, abandonment by his parents, childhood in an orphanage, and a strong sense of disconnection from his adult life. The story is written in columnar, densely lyrical sections, looping and vertiginously dropping into the speaker's past, across several cities in Europe. W.G. Sebald, Samuel Beckett, and Michelangelo Antonioni's films come to mind, especially L'Avventura and Red Desert. Heise's language is precise (dirigibles "no larger than a fennel seed") and his lush, unfolding sentences offer a great, gorgeous pleasure. Moth is a haunting, one-of-a-kind novel that will stay with the reader for a long, long time.
Thomas Heise is the author of Horror Vacui: Poems and Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture. He teaches at McGill University.