Steven Moore’s List of the Most Impressive Books of 2021

It’s been heartening to see the reaction to Permanent Earthquake, which was released this summer. But it’s especially cockle-warming to see a note of recognition from one of our best contemporary literary critics, Steven Moore.

Moore is probably best known for his trailblazing work on William Gaddis, including his Reader’s Guide to William Gaddis’ The Recognitions. But his passionate bibliophilia really shines through in his volumes of The Novel, An Alternative History. His most recent book is Alexander Theroux: A Fan’s Notes, which is, amazingly, the first book-length look at Theroux’s cantankerous canon.

Moore sent this list in an email to Phillip Freedenberg, and Steve approved its wider distribution.

most impressive new/recent books I’ve read in 2021:
Peter CovielloVineland Reread (Columbia University Press)
Mark Leyner, Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit (Little, Brown)
Lauren OylerFake Accounts (Catapult/4th Estate)
David French, Heart Full of Soul: Keith Relf of the Yardbirds (McFarland)
M. J. NichollsTrimming England (Sagging Meniscus)
Miklós Szentkuthy, Chapter on Love (Contra Mundum)
Rikki DucornetTrafik (Coffee House)
Phillip Freedenberg, America and the Cult of the Cactus Boots (corona\samizdat)
Shola von Reinhold, Lote (Jacaranda)
Evan DaraPermanent Earthquake (Aurora)
Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus (New York Review Books)
Alexander Theroux, Early Stories (Tough Poets Press)
Anne Theroux, The Year of the End (Icon Books)
Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America Journals (Univ. of Minnesota Press)
Christopher Sorrentino, Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son’s Memoir (Catapult, 2021)
Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico (Faber & Faber)

Image of Evan Dara's novel, Permanent Earthquake

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