This Is Not It by Lynne Tillman

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In This Is Not It, Lynne Tillman's collection of 20 years' worth of important and compelling short stories and novellas, the protagonists seduce you into their lives and thoughts. Engaging, funny, elegant, and ironic, Tillman takes the reader to new heights of wit and meaning through staccato phrases, grammatical twists, and sensuous language. Familiar worlds of honesty, deceit, dark humor, pleasure, pain, confusion, dependence, love, and lust each play decisive roles in her believable fictions. In "Come and Go," three characters and an author collide. In "Pleasure Isn't A Pretty Picture," the reader is treated to a he/she meditation on the one-night stand. And "Dead Sleep" is truly an insomniac's worst nightmare. A twin act on a double bill, This Is Not It is a collection of innovative and stand-alone writing that also engages and matches wits with the some of the best contemporary art: work by Kiki Smith, Jane Dickson, Jessica Stockholder, Diller & Scofidio, Laura Letinsky, Peter Dreher, Roni Horn, Stephen Ellis, Juan Munoz, Vik Muniz, Silvia Kolbowski, Jeff Koons, James Welling, Aura Rosenberg, Barbara Ess, Barbara Kruger, Dolores Marat, Haim Steinbach, Gary Schneider, Marco Breuer, Stephen Prina, and Linder Sterling. Since 1982, acclaimed novelist Tillman has created these unique narratives that are a parallel universe to the contemporary art world. Maybe they're analogues or dialogues, maybe fictions inspired by art, maybe reflections, or meditations--but whatever they're called, like Borges's fictions, they are their own worlds, too. Tillman has marked out terrain of her own, which this collection celebrates. Full of life and art, This Is Not It is illuminating, bold, subtle, and riotous.

About Lynne Tillman

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Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and critic. Her fiction includes the novels Haunted Houses, Motion Sickness, Cast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. Tillman's art and literary criticism has been published in Artforum, Frieze, Aperture, Nest, the Village Voice, The Guardian, Bomb, and The New York Times Book Review. She has written stories for the artists' books and catalogues of a variety of contemporary artists, including Kiki Smith, Juan Munoz, Jessica Stockholder, Barbara Kruger, Roni Horn, and Vik Muniz. Her most recent story collection, This Is Not It, appeared in 2002. Tillman's new novel, American Genius, A Comedy, will be published in October by Soft Skull Press.
Published October 2, 2002 by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. 256 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Tillman has an acute sensibility to the treacherous nuances of desire between the sexes, and in stories such as “Hold Me” (inspired by a Gary Schneider copy of a child’s hand) and “Phantoms” (introduced by a Laura Letinsky photograph of an alluring couple behind curtains), she explores obsessivel...

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The New York Times

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If the most notable attribute of her writing is a sentence so unpredictable and generative that it constantly propels the story inward to reveal the rapid associations of its author’s mind — at once familiar to us and yet unmappable — what may be most memorable in her stories are those zinger mom...

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of This Is Not It

Publishers Weekly

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A kind of career retrospective for Tillman (No Lease on Life), this collection of formally innovative stories from the last 20 years (most of them previously published) follows a cast of artists and grunts from a vanishing New York City bohemia.

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