Poetry. At the heart of IN A BROKEN STAR, we find the themes of diaspora and quest romance, prophecy and gnosis, which have long suffused Norman Finkelstein's poetry. The central poem of the book, "The Adventures of Pascal Wanderlust," is a long narrative featuring an uncanny protagonist of indeterminate gender, age, and cultural identity, a bookish, wandering mage with mysterious links to the Immanent Foundation, the equally uncanny institution from Finkelstein's previous book, FROM THE FILES OF IMMANENT FOUNDATION, a work which Nathaniel Mackey read "wishing it would never end." There are also intimate lyric sequences suffused with historical loss and cosmological vision. Poignant and darkly ironic, veering weirdly between Kafkaesque comedy and Lovecraftian creepiness, IN ABROKEN STAR may be Finkelstein's most compelling and sheerly entertaining work.
Norman Finkelstein is the author of eleven books of poetry and six books of literary criticism, and has written extensively about modern poetry and Jewish literature. Born in New York City, he received his BA from Binghamton University and his PhD from Emory University. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has lived since 1980. His most recent works include IN A BROKEN STAR (Dos Madres Press, 2021), FROM THE FILES OF THE IMMANENT FOUNDATION (Dos Madres Press, 2018), THE RATIO OF REASON TO MAGIC (Dos Madres Press, 2016), TRACK (Shearsman Books, 2012) and INSIDE THE GHOST FACTORY (March Hawk Press, 2010). His most recent book of criticism is To Go Into the Words (2023), a volume of selected essays, which appears in the Poets on Poetry series from the University of Michigan Press. He writes and edits the poetry review blog Restless Messengers.