Afterglow: A Dog Memoir
In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly made an indelible impact on the writer's way of being. Over the course of sixteen years together, Myles was devoted to the pit bull and their linked quality of life. And starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow launches a playful and incisive investigation into the mostly mutually beneficial, sometimes reprehensible power dynamics between pet and pet-owner. At the same time, it reimagines Myles's experiences with alcoholism and recovery, intimacy and mourning, celebrity and politics, spirituality and family history, while joyously transcending the parameters of memoir.Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet, to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull; from shimmering poetic transcriptions of video footage taken during their walks, to Rosie's final enlightened narration from the afterlife, this totally singular text combines elements of science fiction, screenplay, monologue, and lucid memory to get to the heart of how and why we dedicate our existence to our dogs.
A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is, Eileen Myles's Afterglow is a truly astonishing creation. -- Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK Reading Afterglow is like entering the company of a sensibility that is rich, original, witty, and tonally brilliant. It is the darting asides, the phrasing and the subplots that matter most in this book, that give pure, sheer constant pleasure. -- Colm Toibin Only Eileen Myles could reinvent the memoir again so stunningly; Afterglow is the sort of multidimensional love story you could only expect from one of our greatest experimental writers living today! -- Porochista Khakpour, author of THE LAST ILLUSION Myles is often referred to as an 'institution' - the way one speaks of a terrific restaurant that's endured the waves of gentrification as a 'New York institution.' But the word bounces off her: there is nothing official about her, nothing staid or still. -- Ben Lerner * Paris Review * What is a dog if not god? In Afterglow, Eileen Myles steps up to the challenge for writers to function as prophets. Ghostwritten in part by deceased pit bull Rosie, this 'dog memoir' explores - among other things - geometry, gender, mortality, evil, ageing, and plaids. Myles makes new rules for what prose writing can be. Afterglow is Myles's funniest, profoundest work yet. -- Chris Kraus, author of I LOVE DICK Part of Myles's enduring appeal is that she's experimental in the true sense of the word; every time you turn around, she's up to something different . . . People have started using the word legend when talking about her life and work. * New York Magazine * Myles forces a cultural and a literary reckoning with her life on her own terms, demanding understanding, the text held to the reader's throat. * Los Angeles Review of Books * Wildly inventive and just plain wild, feral, even, Eileen Myles's dazzling Afterglow is about a dog, and her owner, and everything else in life, and also death, too. -- Jami Attenberg, author of ALL GROWN UP Chelsea Girls offers poetry, sex, Catholicism, drugs, class and sexuality. This new reprint... is the missing data for anyone who has read only the male American beat writers. -- Deborah Levy * New Statesman * Everything Eileen Myles touches turns to poetry. Whether called a dog or a cat, it's always poetry. Emily Dickinson famously decided that poetry was anything that made her 'feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off.' I can imagine Emily Dickinson writing an ecstatic blurb for Myles's tender, trippy, deep, yet humanely silly new gift to the world: Afterglow. In this age of fake news and even fake poetry, trust this voice! -- Brad Gooch, author of SMASH CUT
Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books - most recently I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems 1975-2014 and a reissue of the novel Chelsea Girls - whose many honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction and an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Art Writers' Grant. Myles teaches at NYU and Naropa University and lives in Marfa, Texas and New York City.