Cutty, One Rock takes the reader on a wild journey by airplane, bus, ferry, and foot from childhood to early manhood in the company of a New Jersey family in equal measures cultivated and deranged. We witness scenes of passionate, even violent intensity that give rise to meditations on eros and literature, the solitariness of travel, and the poetics of place.
These individual pieces, most of which first appeared in The London Review of Books and won an international cult following, are by turns ""poignant, surreal, down home and lyrical, a mixture of qualities that inheres in his language with uncommon delicacy and effect"" (Leonard Michaels). Together they make up an intellectual and emotional autobiography on the run. The book's final section, about Kleinzahler's adored, doomed older brother, is unforgettable, and since its appearance last year in the LRB, has already entered the literature as one of the most moving contemporary memoirs.
""Offbeat, offhand, subtle, and unsettling . . . Longer acquaintance with Kleinzahler's verse brings greater admiration."" --Stephen Burt, Voice Literary Supplement
""Kleinzahler's writing [is] tied to an abiding sense of tradition, an inventive American idiom with daring gradations of tone, and an extraordinary range of lyric nuance."" --David Biespiel, Speakeasy
""August Kleinzahler is the ideal drinking companion, even if you don't drink, even if you're in another area code, even if it's Monday morning. His mix of comedy and heartbreak is sublime, and he can throw a sentence up in the air that will flip twice before coming down."" --Luc Sante, author of Low Life
""This is a beautiful book--mournful, swaggering, bleak, hilarious--full of piercing and often loving assessments of life and art. Kleinzahler's low characters aren't the ten people you'll meet in heaven, but meeting them in these pages is, for friends of feeling, a kind of paradise."" --Sam Lipsyte, author of Venus Drive