From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, Volumes 1-3

Overview

The great American jazz novel of “such exquisite rhythmic lyricism” (Bookforum) by National Book Award Winner Nathaniel Mackey.From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Volumes 1-3 collects the first three installments—Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus’s Run, and Atet A.D.—of Nathaniel Mackey’s genre-defying work of fiction. A project that began over thirty years ago, From a Broken Bottle is an epistolary novel that unfolds through N.’s intricate letters to the mysterious Angel of Dust. Unexpected, ...

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Overview

The great American jazz novel of “such exquisite rhythmic lyricism” (Bookforum) by National Book Award Winner Nathaniel Mackey.From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Volumes 1-3 collects the first three installments—Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus’s Run, and Atet A.D.—of Nathaniel Mackey’s genre-defying work of fiction. A project that began over thirty years ago, From a Broken Bottle is an epistolary novel that unfolds through N.’s intricate letters to the mysterious Angel of Dust. Unexpected, profound happenings take place as N. delves into music and art and the goings-on of his transmorphic Los Angeles-based jazz ensemble, in which he is a composer and instrumentalist. This triple-set book opens in July 1978 with a dream of a haunting Archie Shepp solo, and closes in September 1982 in a parallactic studio recording session on a glass-bottomed boat borne aloft by the music. The fourth volume of Mackey’s novel, Bass Cathedral—also available from New Directions—was chosen by The New York Times as one of 100 Notable Books of 2008. But that it didn’t end there…

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Editorial Reviews

Travis Nichols - The Believer
“In Nathaniel Mackey’s world, everything from a guitar strum to a needle scratch becomes an open-ended exegesis of musical meaning that is equal parts African American history, Bedouin mysticism, and Mackey’s own imagination. Though this world resembles the everyday world most of us live in, the normal constraints don’t hold Mackey or his characters down…. You aren’t likely to forget it.”
Josh Kun - The Boston Phoenix
“Mackey’s characters are musicians for whom there is no outside of music, for whom improvisation and performance are ways of being, forms of consciousness, and tools of Africa-and-beyond cultural survival.”
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Mackey (b. 1942), is the author of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, editor of the Literary Jounal Hambone, and radio show host. His collection, Splay Anthem, won the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry. He is also on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, and is Professor of Literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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