“This is the story of Anselm.” A woman plans to set down a faithful portrait of her ex-lover, just days after he’s fled their one-room romance. But as she looks back on the crash-and-burn affair, her writing quickly reveals her own contempt for and obsession with moody, unpredictable Anselm. The 35-year-old narrator is an unpublished writer and retail clerk who spends her working hours shelving in a downtown bookstore, her days off laying low in a Brooklyn luncheonette. Anselm is a charming but hapless recent New Yorker, composer of music, and an Ivy League drop-out who hails from a disastrous Appalachian childhood. His storyline is heartbreaking, yet the fallible narrator goes in and out of sympathy for him as she vacillates between telling his story and theirs. In a voice that evokes the melancholy of Jean Rhys and the frankness of Annie Ernaux, Watch the Doors As They Close recounts the intense affair as it disintegrates--all the while painting vivid scenes of American rural poverty and New York bohemia at the turn of the Millennium.Pittsburgh Magazine also reviewed "Watch the Doors as They Close" in their current issue. For the review, go here And, if you hapen to be in NYC this weekend, there is a free reading by Karen at Zinc Bar.
August 2, 1979
6 hours ago