Inferno at times resembles a juicy tell-all memoir (it's virtually impossible for the reader to detect which, if any, parts of the book are fiction), and Myles names names throughout: As a young poet on tour, she develops an intense dislike of the cult of celebrity surrounding a very young on-her-way-up Kathy Acker, portraying her as a scene-diddling (and somewhat shrewd) opportunist. Not that Myles doesn't wrestle with her own spotlight-grabbing shock-poet tendencies; her poem titled "On the Death of Robert Lowell" begins with this line: "Oh, I don't give a shit."
And if that's not enough for you, I review The Novel: Live!, which 36 authors wrote onstage at the Hugo House a couple weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, it reads like a book that was written by 36 different people in short two-hour chunks:
The Novel: Live! proves nothing so much as the value of a careful and thorough rewriting process to a coherent and enjoyable reading experience. Unfortunately, it proves that importance by exclusion.
All that and much more in the Books section.