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I'm Trying to Reach You

Overview

"A provocative novel... that blurs the boundaries between life and performance, dance, art, and viral video. The novel is also framed in the world of performance art and is itself its own kind of performance... and feels rightly reflective of a moment when dance is pushing the boundaries of what constitutes a performance space."
-Slate Book Review

"Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook-era communiques, Browning's newest is as ...

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I'm Trying to Reach You

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Overview

"A provocative novel... that blurs the boundaries between life and performance, dance, art, and viral video. The novel is also framed in the world of performance art and is itself its own kind of performance... and feels rightly reflective of a moment when dance is pushing the boundaries of what constitutes a performance space."
-Slate Book Review

"Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook-era communiques, Browning's newest is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking."
-Publishers Weekly (Starred)

"Exquisite storytelling at its finest. I’m Trying to Reach You cultivates our relationship addiction with YouTube and our desire for interconnectivity while illuminating what it means to strive, cope and love with all of our heart, brain, body and soul. It is all here. Browning writes with humor, wit, grace and passion to the human purpose, mortality and the joys of existence. Start reading.”
-Karen Finley

First Michael Jackson, then Pina Bausch. Next is Merce Cunningham.

Gray Adams, a former dancer with the Royal Swiss Ballet at work on his dissertation at NYU, has a theory spurred by countless hours of YouTube-based procrastination: someone is killing these famous dancers! (And he may bear an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Stewart, circa Vertigo.)

I'm Trying to Reach You is a moving and candid contemporary look at how we process grief, as well as how we love and communicate with one another.

In the author's consideration of gender, race, and class, she also attempts to relate what it truly means to be an American in this modern age.

Barbara Browning is the author of The Correspondence Artist. She teaches in the Performance Studies department at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She's also a poet and dancer who lives in Greenwich Village with her son.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in New York City, Browning's media-saturated and humorous second novel (after The Correspondence Artist) follows Gray Adams, a 46-year-old gay African-American ex-ballet dancer, as he revises his dissertation on semaphore in dance during a post-doc at NYU. The novel opens, however, in Zagreb, Croatia at an international performance studies conference on the day that Michael Jackson dies. Gray, like many others, takes to YouTube to cope and stumbles upon a mysterious video in which a woman in a black leotard dances to the music of Erik Satie; the connection to Michael Jackson is tenuous, though the danseuse does moonwalk. In subsequent chapters, other cultural icons perish—including modern dance choreographers Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham, and famed inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, Les Paul. Gray begins to follow the YouTube channel of the enigmatic dancer, who seems to create new videos related to each death. To add to her mystique, Gray notices that one of her YouTube commenters is taken with her, while the other hints at murderous intent. As Gray muses on the meaning of the videos, the extent of his loneliness comes to light, and Browning's characteristic theoretical overlays complicate and deepen his experiences. Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook-era communiques, Browning's newest is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983247111
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 12.70 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Browning is the author of the novel The Correspondence Artist. She teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She's also a poet and dancer, and lives with her son in Greenwich Village.

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