by Lynne Tillman
MEET EZEKIEL HOOPER STARK, cultural anthropologist and bemused commentator on the contemporary world. Zeke has carved out an academic career studying family photographs, gender and images. Meanwhile – now 38 – he still contends with his own family’s perversities and pathologies, which charge his chaotic love life.
While living in London, Zeke finds himself spiralling into crisis. As the centre ceases to hold, so too does any pretence of his having a dispassionate, purely academic interest in these issues.
Zeke finds a new research topic: himself. He embarks on a quixotic new project, studying the ‘New Man’, born under the sign of feminism. What, he asks his male subjects, does masculinity mean today, in a world in which all the old models are broken? What do you expect from women? What do you expect from yourself? Meanwhile, what will the reader make of Zeke – is he enlightened or misguided, chauvinistic or simply delusional?
Kaleidoscopic and encyclopaedic, comic, tragic, and philosophical, Men and Apparitions showcases Lynne Tillman not only as a unique novelist but also as one of our most important contemporary thinkers on art, culture and the politics of gender.
Praise for Men and Apparitions
‘A true force in American literature.’ – George Saunders
‘A new thought in every sentence.’ – Lydia Davis
‘Lynne Tillman has always been a hero of mine.’ – Jonathan Safran Foer
‘A beautiful meditation on photography.’ – Colm Tóibín
‘A powerful disquisition on memory, media and melancholia.’ – Tom McCarthy
About the author
Lynne Tillman writes novels, short stories, essays, and criticism. Her novel No Lease on Life was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, and her essay collection What Would Lynne Tillman Do? a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. She frequently writes fiction and essays for artists' books and museum catalogues, most recently for Raymond Pettibon, Joan Jonas, Cindy Sherman, and Carroll Dunham. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Grant for Arts Writing, and is a Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the English Department at the University of Albany. In 2021, a selected collection of Tillman's short stories will appear from Soft Skull Press, and a new collection of art essays published by David Zwirner Books. She lives in Manhattan with the bass player David Hofstra.