Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Gabriel Blackwell's CORRECTION is a book of recognition and reckoning, fiction in its newest form. These 101 short story-essays (what are they?) plunge out of the dizzying, devastating, truthy world of social media and into the depths of our daily lives. The result is relentlessly precise, ferociously ethical, damning, sly and essential. Blackwell is at the height of his powers as one of the most innovative prose writers working today. To this hyper-mediated world, its texts swollen with absent facts and bad intent, we offer CORRECTION.
Blackwell has created an unsettling new kind of realism in this collection of flash-point shorts. At almost every page I found myself saying, 'Well, this can't be real, ' while at the same time struggling to reconcile myself with the sheer familiarity of all these humans at their absurd and befuddled worst. I, too, had clicked on some of the headlines that informed these stories, but that was not what made this book so disconcertingly familiar. Rather, what I saw in CORRECTION was what I least wanted to see there: my own self looking back out at me. Blackwell has created the strangest of mirrors: a book that crackles with the compulsive voyeurism of the internet age tempered by the lens of that most relentless of companions--the self-reflective 'I am.'--Sarah Blackman
WTF is this book exactly? It's a compliment to the book that I can't tell if these stories are found or made and in what proportion. Reading them gave me an unsettled and jittery feeling, like I was seeing too much of our world too rapidly, and just as I get a satisfying glimpse of a life or a state of being, it turns into something else and leaves me dazzled. CORRECTION feels true and it feels like now.--Ander Monson
Cut Zola (who took the sociopolitical temperature of the times and was shrewd about people, aware of their size) with Gari Lutz who makes a sentence crackle to matter. Add work that splashes around in the apocalypse of our mutilated attention (the Internet), like Mark Doten's Trump Sky Alpha, and increase with a pure injection of something like a Yahoo News stream where the personal, the celebrity, the horror, smacks its lips at politics--here are 101 ideas for how to write a short story without redemption because we all know where we're heading. Blackwell offers this, a series of taut windows that are mirrors that are all screens. We need new ideas about how to write stories given the window/mirror/screen/apocalypse thing and ever-new ways to hallow, hold, mutate and use attention--this helps.--Caren Beilin.