Fiction. Tess keeps vigil at the bedside of her friend Laura through a long night of labor as Laura's first child arrives. The two have known each other for what seems like forever. Their humanitarian aid work has taken them from the Balkans, to Egypt, to Istanbul amid the ongoing refugee crisis—an era that includes the US's war in Iraq, the Arab Spring, and many forms of global consequence and aftermath. Brad Fox's first novel is a luminous inquiry into the incarnations and limits of hope. This writer helps us endure our questions about what forms care may take, what we may offer to anyone, near and far.
"Brad Fox's virtuoso novelistic voice, alternately terse and florid, in the mode of Joseé Saramago, Roberto Bolanño, or Alberto Moravia, is sonorous, lapidary, and melancholy—a seamless dreamy fabulist omniscience, bearing world-weary witness to perilous events, both inner and outer. Fox gives the impression of having lived underground or in other centuries and of only now emerging from his hiding place to narrate these limpid yet dense fantasias. A phenomenally gifted novelist and a probing intellectual, he transforms critical thinking into dramatic scenario. 'Thought' isn't appended to the story, but emerges in the complicated telling of the tale. In a bravura feat of formal construction, TO REMAIN NAMELESS flashes between a birth scene and international adventures: from the cramped, germinating vantage of a hospital room, the novelist unfurls a teeming network of international exaltations and disappointments. The room compresses; the world expands. Djuna Barnes and Virginia Woolf pioneered this trick of simultaneous engorgement and diminution, of funhouse-mirror space-time reversal; and now Brad Fox, wonder-worker, takes up the dizzying mantle."—Wayne Koestenbaum
"Daring, vivid and utterly original, Brad Fox's debut is a tour de force."—Claire Messud
"From Kansas City to Cairo to New York to the Balkans, Brad Fox goes to the heart of the contemporary experience. Stories of humanitarian crimes, errant friendships and euphoric protests come together in a tough, clean, elegant prose that moves gracefully from one continent to the next.This book is sprinkled throughout with a gravelly humour and a nod to Beckett's sense of Can't go on, must go on."—Colum McCann
"TO REMAIN NAMELESS is a gorgeous meditation on a shifting self in a shifting world, a querying-onward in which there's both melancholy and delight."—Shelley Jackson
"Very intense like a bright light."—Fanny Howe
Brad Fox's stories, articles, and translations have appeared in the New Yorker, Guernica, and the Whitney Biennial. From 1996 to 2011 he worked as a journalist, researcher, and relief contractor in the Balkans, Mexico, the Middle East, and Turkey. He teaches at City College in Harlem.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA