Details on Gilbert Sorrentino’s Final Novel

Golden Handcuffs Review has an excerpt from Gilbert Sorrentino’s last novel, The Abyss of Human Illusion, completed a mere month after Sorrentino died. They’ve also been kind enough to include Christopher Sorrentino’s afterword, in which Sorrentino spills, “The title is taken from Henry James’ story, ‘The Middle Years,’ in which Dencombe, an ailing older writer ‘who had a reputation” — mostly for disappointing sales — sits at the edge of the sea, indifferently holding a copy of his newest book (also called The Middle Years), still in the envelope in which it has been forwarded by his publisher, considering his own incapacity for wonder, surprise, astonished joy.”

As of yet, there appears to be no publisher lined up for this book. I have emailed Coffee House Press, who has published many of Sorrentino’s last few novels, as well as Christopher Sorrentino himself to determine what the current situation is.

(via This Space)

[UPDATE: Christopher Sorrentino reports that there is “a handshake deal” with Coffee House Press and that he is now in the process of interpreting sections of his father’s manuscript, which includes having to guess what certain notations mean and reading near illegible handwritten script. Since Christopher is a talented novelist in his own right (see the NBA-nominated Trance), I can think of no better candidate for the job.]

[UPDATE 2: Coffee House likewise reports that this is the case. While there are no firm details as of yet, sometime after May 2008 looks to be the pub date.]

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