Writing Faculty David Hollander MFA '97 Receives Glowing Review for Newest Novel Anthropica

Writing faculty member David Hollander's recently-published novel, Anthropica received a glowing review from Brian Evenson in the Los Angeles Review of BooksPraising Hollander for his impressive balance and dedication to characters, while also not dedicating endless pages to minute details, Mr. Evenson writes:

"A novel shouldn’t be long merely for the sake of being long; it should be long because it can’t be any shorter and still accomplish everything it sets out to. That balance between maximalism and restraint is very difficult to achieve, mainly because most authors who embrace the former deem it permission to treat the latter as a hindrance to the creative exercise.

"But David Hollander’s Anthropica achieves it... With a dozen different threads and voices knitted loosely together in a way that feels satisfying without ever being overly insistent, it reads like the kind of novel that in lesser hands would have ended up 300 pages longer."

In his discussion of the novel's plot and intellectual pursuit, Mr. Evenson continues, "Philosophically, Hollander is interested in thinking through the relationship between the world as it is and our desire for the world to be a certain way by exploring the idea that our desires might actually have an effect on the world around us. There’s a basic absurdity to the premise (which Hollander is very much aware of), yet his exploration dovetails with serious scientific speculation about what it would mean to be living in a simulation. The book’s intellectual searching ties into larger ideas of intersubjectivity and whether we interact with the world directly or only with a partial model we hold in our minds. In myriad ways, Hollander interrogates the nature of the relationship between mind, body, others, and the world, and he is less interested in reaching a definitive conclusion than in touching on as many possibilities as he can."


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