In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly made an indelible impact on the writer's way of being. Over the course of sixteen years together, Myles was devoted to the pit bull and their linked quality of life. And starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow launches a playful and incisive investigation into the mostly mutually beneficial, sometimes reprehensible power dynamics between pet and pet-owner. At the same time, it reimagines Myles's experiences with alcoholism and recovery, intimacy and mourning, celebrity and politics, spirituality and family history, while joyously transcending the parameters of memoir.
Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet, to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull; from shimmering poetic transcriptions of video footage taken during their walks, to Rosie's final enlightened narration from the afterlife, this totally singular text combines elements of science fiction, screenplay, monologue, and lucid memory to get to the heart of how and why we dedicate our existence to our dogs.
About the Author
Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books, including Chelsea Girls, Cool for You, and most recently, I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems 1975-2014. Their many honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, four Lambda Literary Awards, the Clark Prize for Excellence in Art Writing, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and their poems were featured in seasons two and three of the Emmy-winning show Transparent. They live in Marfa, Texas, and New York City.
'A ravishingly strange and gorgeous book about a dog that's really about life and everything there is, Eileen Myles's Afterglow is a truly astonishing creation.'
Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK
'Reading Afterglow is like entering the company of a sensibility that is rich, original, witty, and tonally brilliant. It is the darting asides, the phrasing and the subplots that matter most in this book, that give pure, sheer constant pleasure.'
'Only Eileen Myles could reinvent the memoir again so stunningly; Afterglow is the sort of multidimensional love story you could only expect from one of our greatest experimental writers living today!'
Porochista Khakpour, author of THE LAST ILLUSION
'Myles is often referred to as an 'institution' - the way one speaks of a terrific restaurant that's endured the waves of gentrification as a 'New York institution.' But the word bounces off her: there is nothing official about her, nothing staid or still.'
Ben Lerner, Paris Review
'Eileen Myles is a New York poet, maybe the New York poet, a swaggering troubadour of casually roving brilliance...a work of surpassing strangeness that takes the form of an elegy for a lost pet and converts it into a weird and agitated philosophical inquiry.'
Olivia Laing, Guardian