Doom Town (Paperback)
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A professor of Linguistics in a Gulf Coast college town causes an accident that destroys his marriage and sends him into a breakdown, in which he perceives that the world is falling apart with him. Even his language becomes fractured, in a parallel to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
About the Author
Gabriel Blackwell is the author of six other books. His essays and fictions have appeared in Conjunctions, Tin House, Post Road, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. He lives in Spokane, WA.
“Gabriel Blackwell’s Doom Town is one of the finest novels about marriage and parenthood I’ve read, probing the ways in which the same bonds of familial and romantic love that connect us to others can become vectors of unfathomable injury and grief. It is a very rare book that’s this carefully constructed, or that depicts a life so closely observed: Blackwell’s attention to the obsessive, recursive workings of his narrator’s mind becomes a brilliant character study, offering insight into a pain so deep it might, without Blackwell’s precision, refuse communication or remedy or escape. An unforgettable read.” —Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
“An exquisite book about the consolations and travails of language, about how we seek solace in words and too often find instead the means of augmenting our tendency toward denial. Doom Town feels like what might happen if Donald Antrim’s Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World and Thomas Bernhard’s Concrete met for coffee somewhere in near-future America.” —Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
“Doom Town is not so much about loss as about the absurd supposition that two knotted up beings might ever have imagined they could nourish a third. Like the giant cicadas in the book, Blackwell thrums right in on the knots. This is powerful writing, true and sure.” —Jen Craig, author of Panthers and the Museum of Fire