RaveThe Paris ReviewInnocence is punctured by Killian’s increasing alcoholism, by fear of AIDS, by depressive episodes of writerly self-deprecation...and the progression from Smithtown to Minna Street is marked by the violence of sex and depravity of desire. Each crisis of timing or catastrophe of personality arrives as its own Sword of Damocles hanging in the air above him, ever ready to rend fragile happiness ... In situating themselves in memory’s drift, its blur, Killian’s memoirs remain as vibrant now as they did in the late eighties, palpably alive with sex and politics, music and poetry. Killian’s past is strange, drunken, a little lost, but it belongs to our present as a handy record for those of us who need a reminder that sometimes a direction can be found in the reckoning.
RaveFriezeWith Some Trick, DeWitt has produced a volume of telescoped brilliance, steeped in her knowledge of classics and mathematics (populist lit this is not), with characters who spring up like tiny ideas about how to live one’s life, or how to delude oneself into living ... An undeniable whiff of tragedy lingers around these stories, as each character discovers in their respective pursuits of truth the presence of too many truths, too many lies, or simply too little difference between the two, to keep a firm grasp of either reality or fantasy. We are left, instead, with flits and bursts of self-awareness that end or implode as soon as they begin – a situation mirrored in DeWitt’s language, as sentences trail off with no concluding punctuation or, instead, with six or more exclamation points. Sentences approach coherence then dissipate, much as characters rise to consciousness only to recede back into the text, into words. It is with feeling that DeWitt makes something of the world but, sometimes, she concludes, it is feeling alone. It is then that we realize: feeling is seldom enough.