S.D. Chrostowska’s “Permission: A Novel”
My essay “A House Divided,” on S.D. Chrostowska’s book Permission: A Novel (Dalkey Archive, 2013), can be read over at 3AM:Magazine. Permission struck me as a complex and deliberately contradictory book that I simply could not shake free of. I was particularly taken by the variety and sophistication of the ways in which Chrostowska used photographs in her book. I would glance at them expecting to quickly consume the image and then move on with the text; but the images repeatedly stole my attention, and I found myself eventually going back to the text having been taken somewhere entirely unexpected and yet related. After multiple readings, I feel that it’s a compelling novel of ideas unlike almost anything I can think of, except, perhaps, Fernando Pessoa’s equally unclassifiable The Book of Disquiet.