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shrapnel : contemplations

anti-oedipus press, february 2024

For decades, Lance Olsen has been a wellspring of literary innovation, sophistication, and elan. With more than thirty books to his name, he consistently pushes the limits of narrative and aspires for the New. Shrapnel: Contemplations brings together some of Olsen’s most compelling nonfiction from the twenty-first century. In this collection of essays and interviews, he discusses topics ranging from the philosophy of contemporary writing and the corporatization of the literary scene to entropology, creative disjunction, autrebiography, media culture, and identity politics, with insights into the lives and writings of fellow stylists like Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, Donald Barthelme, Steve Tomasula, Kathy Acker, and many others. All this is supplemented by reflections on his own craft and worldly experiences. Intuitive, edifying, and earnest, Shrapnel reveals Olsen’s breadth of knowledge while (re)establishing him as one of the few living authors invested in preserving the increasingly lost art of literature.

“Olsen is among the finest writers of social critique and speculative fiction today.”

—American Book Review

“Perhaps no other American author writes as expansively and insightfully as Lance Olsen about what it means to be alive at this place, at this time.”

—Steve Tomasula

“In the world of contemporary fiction, Lance Olsen is a rockstar.”

—The Brooklyn Rail

“Lance Olsen reminds us that defying classification has lasting, imaginative value.”

—Review of Contemporary Fiction

“A fine and daring writer.”

—Publishers Weekly

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