Proxies

A Memoir in Twenty-four Attempts

4.35 based on 123 ratings & 21 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 01.12.2016
ISBN: 9781509847860
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

In this memoir in twenty-four essays, Blanchfield focuses on a startling miscellany of topics – Foot Washing, Dossiers, Br’er Rabbit, Housesitting, Man Roulette, the Locus Amoenus – that begin to unpack the essayist himself and his life’s rotating concerns: sex and sexuality, poetry and poetics, and his upbringing in working-class, Primitive Baptist, North Carolina.

In the media

Everyone ought to read Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies immediately . . . It will change you
BOMB
The premise of this autobiographical essay collection is simple: Blanchfield writes from memory alone, without consulting any outside resources to fact check. As the author explains, "I wrote these essays with the internet off." The result is unlike anything written before. The 24 single topic essays in Proxies are short and focused (topics range from owls to housesitting to frottage), but every single one leads to a more personal revelation or a wider point about the author's life or the greater world. The conclusions of his writings feel organic and authentic, and the 20+ pages of corrections at the end of the book only validate how powerful writing from memory and relying only upon what's inside your own brain can be.
Esquire (US edition)
Mr. Blanchfield's more high-flown reflections [are] slyly used in juxtaposition with the plain-spoken memories of this 'working class white boy' from North Carolina . . . One becomes acclimated to, and impressed by, the way he transitions from, say, an etymological investigation of billiards terminology to the way his father shot pool.
New York Times