Halls of Fame by John D'Agata

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"John D'Agata is an alchemist who changes trash into purest gold." --Guy Davenport, Harper's

John D'Agata journeys the endless corridors of America's myriad halls of fame and faithfully reports on what he finds there. In a voice all his own, he brilliantly maps his terrain in lists, collage, and ludic narratives. With topics ranging from Martha Graham to the Flat Earth Society, from the brightest light in Vegas to the artist Henry Darger, who died in obscurity, Halls of Fame hovers on the brink between prose and poetry, deep seriousness and high comedy, the subject and the self.


About John D'Agata

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John D'Agata was born in 1974 on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he holds M.F.A.s in both nonfiction and poetry and is currently editor of lyric essays for Seneca Review. He lives in New England.
Published June 18, 2013 by Graywolf Press. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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His essays range over subjects like Charles Johnson (head of the Flat Earth Society) to the many forgotten halls of fame across America (such as Big Daddy’s Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Florida) to Henry Darger (an outsider artist who drew fantastical pictures of little girls).

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Publishers Weekly

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An exemplar of the literary movement toward linking the genres of poetry and the essay, D'Agata, a recent University of Iowa nonfiction and poetry MFA graduate, blends both to create an inviting, elli

Dec 04 2000 | Read Full Review of Halls of Fame

Publishers Weekly

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Although D'Agata's Hoover Dam essay pays homage to Joan Didion's ""At the Dam,"" and his ""Collage History of Art, by Henry Darger"" spurs thoughts of Joseph Mitchell's ""Joe Gould's Secret,"" D'Agata eschews the structure of the traditional essay, in which meaning accrues from paragraphs of prose.

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