After hearing so much about this book, I was initially disappointed. It seemed smug, overly reliant on irony, as if its “fraudulence was fraudulent” (168). But it grew on me. The issues of translation moved from being at times obvious and at times laugh out loud funny to something more profound. I expected more of a shift after the terrorist attack, but that might be more about my own expectations than Lerner’s oversight. There are many gorgeous passages, including the one that starts, “Think about the necklace. . . on 144.” There is the connection to history that Lerner’s poet character wonders about. Though I can’t say I loved it, I think this one will stay with me for a long, long time. It deserves to be read and re-read.
And it comes from a great local press –