David Markson's novels include Springer's Progress, Reader's Block, and The Last Novel.
In this unsettling, shimmering novel, the reader is immediately drawn into the world of a woman who has gone mad because she is the last surviving creature on earth. Sitting at a typewriter in a beach house day after uncharted dayshe keeps no calendar or clocksshe pours out her thoughts on music, art and ancient Greek legends, and remembrances of her travels across the globe in abandoned cars, looking for other living beings. But after a while, some discrepancies creep into her rambling, compelling monologue: an accident that she first says took place in New York now occurs in Leningrad; memories become distorted by imaginings. Were they ever really memories in the first place? By the end of this seamless stream of consciousness, there is no distinction between fantasy and reality, past and present. Markson (The Ballad of Dingus Magee) keeps the reader off balance and finally unsure of even the foundation of his character's madnessperhaps she is alone only because she believes she is. (May )
The novel I liked best this year... one dizzying, delightful, funny passage after another... Wittgenstein's Mistress gives proof positive that the experimental novel can produce high, pure works of imagination. The Washington Times Addresses formidable philosophic questions with tremendous wit... remarkable... A novel that can be parsed like a sentence, it is that well made. New York Times Book Review Brilliant and often hilarious... Markson is the one working novelist... who can claim affinities with Joyce, Gaddis, and Lowry, no less than with Beckett. San Francisco Review of Books A work of genius... An erudite, breathtakingly cerebral novel whose prose is crystal and whose voice rivets and whose conclusion defies you not to cry. -- David Foster Wallace As precise and dazzling as Joyce... Original, beautiful, and an absolute masterpiece. -- Ann Beattie