Books by Ann Quin

BERG by Ann Quin
Released: June 4, 2019

"A must-read masterwork by an author whose star should shine brighter in the contemporary firmament."
"A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father…." Read full book review >
PASSAGES by Ann Quin
Released: Jan. 24, 2003

This terse, enigmatic 1969 novel—the third from its gifted, troubled (ultimately suicidal) British author (1936-73)—completes Dalkey's US publication of her slender fictional output (Tripticks, p. 703, etc.). It eschews conventional characterization and narrative for reminiscence, dream, and fantasy, as indulged by the story's alternating narrators. One is an unnamed woman in her 30s who searches for her lost (possibly dead) brother in unidentified, variously exotic foreign climes (references to "almond trees" and "dunes" are intriguing but unspecific), where insurrection and repression continually recycle and women are routinely exploited and brutalized by men. The other narrator is her lover, a self-absorbed academic whose oversimplified surmises about her behavior are counterpointed against marginal comments comparing himself with figures from Greek mythology. Read full book review >
Released: July 30, 2002

"Might enjoy some interest from serious students and teachers of the avant-garde, but otherwise will probably sink without a trace."
A narrator without much personality but plenty to say makes a dash across America in this postmodernist screed from the late and mostly forgotten stylistic rebel. British author Quin (Berg and Three), who died in 1973, gets another of her four novels resurrected to little purpose. Tripticks has a structure of sorts, in that it's narrated by the same person all the way through. He's on the tail of his "No. 1 X-wife," who's gone off with a younger man. The resulting journey takes him through an impressionistically rendered American landscape, which comes in for the usual ridicule. Quin does have a style all her own, that's for sure. While her writing has little linear logic, and there's a little too much cutting-and-pasting going on, her voice manages to speak quite clearly through the sly little quips, puns, and non sequiturs the narrator lobs off of every paragraph. And unlike those who would be her peers today in the realm of pomo literature, Quin doesn't seem interested in shocking the reader with outdated ideas of the profane. A warm and funny talent gets lost in all the meandering—a talent that even the random illustrations slapped into the text are unable to enliven. Read full book review >
THREE by Ann Quin
Released: April 1, 2001

Before Quin died in 1973, an apparent suicide at 37, she published four novels in her native Britain, but only two in the States, including this, her second book, which Brian Evenson claims in a new introduction is an innovative masterpiece, despite its nonlinear, collage style with its run-on, unpunctuated sentences. Kirkus had a less sympathetic view in 1966, when this "morosely inbred" novel first appeared. "Close, cryptic, neurasthenic" is how we characterized this experimental narrative about three characters who do very little. "Resourcefully intuitive" readers might enjoy the verbal meanderings here since Quin, we thought, "prefers the symbol to the direct statement." Kirkus considered her an "expert" at capturing the "reproachful, edgy, nasty" atmosphere, which is "just as unpleasant as it is intended to be." In other words, for aficionados of the transgressive. Read full book review >