Danielle Dutton is the author of SPRAWL (Wave Books, 2018), Margaret the First, and Attempts at a Life. Her writing has also appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Harper's, The White Review, Fence, BOMB, and others. She is on the faculty of the writing program at Washington University in St. Louis and is co-founder and editor of the feminist press Dorothy, a publishing project.
(photo credit: Bill Adams)
SPRAWL reads as if Gertrude Stein channeled Alice B. Toklas writing an Arcades Project set in contemporary suburbia.
Borrowing techniques from both fiction, poetry, and visual art (particularly photography), the book not only infuses each object . . . with a Vermeeresque glow but arranges it into part of a verbal still life. The result? A fresh take on suburbia, one of reverence and skepticism. The beauty of SPRAWL resides in its fierce, careful composition, which changes the ordinary into the wonderful and odd. SPRAWL in fact does not sprawl at all; rather, it radiates with control and fresh, strange reflection.
In the long line of novels about the vapidity of suburbia, Dutton has a narrator who may be one of the most likable. Aloof and hilarious, she dissects their lives with the casualness of a cynical scientist.
Reviews of books by Danielle Dutton
- Music and Literature, with John Vincler
Reading from Margaret the First at Scripps College: