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White Plains
White Plains

White Plains

Pieces & Witherlings


288 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Trade Paper, $12.99 (US $12.99) (CA $17.99)

Publication Date: May 2018

ISBN 9780995705265

Rights: US, CA & MX

Little Island Press (May 2018)

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Gordon Lish's latest work of exquisitely crafted fiction sees a narrator - variously "Gordon!," "I," "He" - approaching the precipice of old age. Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and consistently hilarious narratives. White Plains is Lish at his sharpest, tackling his perennial subject – the memory of memory itself – with spellbinding mastery.


"Hardly anything is more unyielding to the grip than language, a century-old apprehension that Lish demonstrates with all the obsessive tenacity of the modernist masters. If previous works of Lish's have conjured the verbal ectoplasms of Joyce, Bernhard, Gertrude Stein, the presiding spectre at the present volume's banquet of fragments is Beckett" —Stuart Walton, Review 31 "These stories are replete with parenthetical um-ing and ah-ing over synonyms, punctuation and grammatical solecisms — a prolix testament to the agonies of prose composition: 'Losing tone here, not retaining purchase on stance here, falling to pieces with the coward's frolic along the phraseological here.' When Lish declares, at the outset of one story, that 'every utterance in this book has been coddled' he really means it." — Houman Barekat, Irish Times "These are stories for the neurotic state of our times, stories for insomnia, stories for those who wake in discontent. There will never be another Gordon Lish." – Grant Maierhofer, Berfrois

Author Biography

As fiction editor of Esquire from 1969 to 1977, then as an editor at Knopf and of The Quarterly until 1995, Gordon Lish worked closely with many of the most daring writers of the past fifty years, including Harold Brodkey, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah and Joy Williams. More than a dozen books have appeared under Lish's own name – ­including the novels Dear Mr. Capote (1983), Peru (1986), and Zimzum (1993). These have won Lish a passionate cult following as a writer of recursive and often very funny prose. For decades he taught legendary classes in fiction, both at institutions such as Yale and Columbia and in private sessions in New York and across America.