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"A lyrical, fragmentary, and heartfelt story about the beauty and difficulty of artistic isolation." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Haunting and compulsively readable, Drifts is an intimate portrait of reading, writing, and creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, corresponding ardently with fellow writers, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. Entranced by the work of Rainer Maria Rilke, Albrecht Dürer, Chantal Akerman, and others, she photographs the residents and strays of her neighborhood, haunts bookstores and galleries, and records her thoughts in a yellow notebook that soon subsumes her work on the novel. As winter closes in, a series of disturbances—the appearances and disappearances of enigmatic figures, the burglary of her apartment—leaves her distracted and uncertain . . . until an intense and tender disruption changes everything.
A story of artistic ambition, personal crisis, and the possibilities and failures of literature, Drifts is the work of an exhilarating and vital writer.
About the Author
Kate Zambreno is the author of several acclaimed books including Screen Tests, Heroines, and Green Girl. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, VQR, and elsewhere. She teaches in the writing programs at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.
“A free-spirited, essayistic novel exploring the complex links among art, parenthood, and making a living. . . . The charm of this novel is how it makes this deep uncertainty feel palpable and affecting. [The result is] a lyrical, fragmentary, and heartfelt story about the beauty and difficulty of artistic isolation.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Immersive, exciting . . . filled with small moments of magic . . . a captivating deconstruction of the writer's process that will reward readers in search for meaning.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Drifts gathers up multiple ways of seeing, feeling and understanding, layering fiction, meditation, biography, confession and prose poetry into one capacious structure. This is an extraordinary book.”
—Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland
“In Drifts, Kate Zambreno has taken nothing for granted. She has created a spirited, shape-shifting read that is by turns insightful, intimate, speculative, and mischievous. In her search to uncover the form's rich potential, Zambreno is unafraid to show us what she too is made of.”
—Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
“Kate Zambreno's writing is mysterious, unclassifiable, and yet intimate and familiar too. Reading her is like looking through a kaleidoscope—the world is at once more beautiful and more terrifying.”
—Jenny Zhang, author of Sour Heart
“Ravishingly intense and tender[,] an intimate portrait of the mind of a writer on the verge of disappearing. . . . The message she sends back to us from edge of the abyss is that literature is discourse: a delirious, charged conversation propelled across time and space by desire, lust, confusion, despair and yearning. Utterly original, transfixing, infectious. . . . I couldn't put it down.”
—Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, author of Call Me Zebra