Kevin O'Rourke's debut collection explores what it means to be both the subject and the performer of the gaze. His essays demand answers to the questions: How do we lift up the surgical drape and what do we do with what is found there? How do we manage the space between the subject and onlooker? What happens when the body gazes back?
In these essays, the body becomes a medical object, a dying musician sends missives into the blogosphere, we witness the strained interview on the radio of a hip-hop star. The writer and his corona of family are not excused from such scrutiny: O'Rourke recounts the experience of losing his mother to cancer, his own childhood maladies, and too, his longings, and his own gaze onto the great scaffolds of Art. Kevin O'Rourke joins the community of skilled essayists that include David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Leslie Jamison, his own voice full of wit and ballast.
With this captivating and powerful book, Kevin O'Rourke shows how a poetic temperament creates essays that read like a whole new and dynamic form.