The Sea-God's Herb, John Domini's first book of non-fiction, will appear soon on Dzanc Books! Sea-God selects from John's many essays and reviews, published in the New York Times and elsewhere. Most of the work has to do with literature, but also reaches out to other areas of culture, like visual arts and television. Look for the book in spring, 2014.
John's first book of poetry, The Grand McLuckless Road Atlas, is coming soon on Pedestrian Press/Bicycle Review. A chapbook, Grand McLuckless selects from about a decade of John's poetry, and includes a prize-winner. The electronic edition will appear first, then the print version, both in the spring of 2013.
John spent July and August 2012 in the Val di Comino, southeast of Rome, as the artist in residence with the Festival delle Storie. He gave a number of public talks, and there's a video featuring two of these events. The residency proved essential for a memoir now underway to be titled Cooking the Octopus.
Something else that came out of John's residency was a long interview in the Rome journal The American. Thanks especially to David Winner.
Thanks to Tom Verso for his enthusiastic essay-review about A Tomb on the Periphery on the i-Italy website.
An excerpt from John's novel in progress, the third in his Naples trilogy, is the "featured fiction" in the Del Sol Review, Catwalk Plastique, part of Web del Sol.
John's first four books have been bought by Dzanc Books, to be reissued in electronic versions! Dzanc, a distinguished press out of the Midwest, will publish ebooks of the two story collections Bedlam and Highway Trade, and the two novels Talking Heads: 77 and Earthquake I.D. These will be available for download in a variety of formats, starting in early 2013. Bedlam, John's first book, will include a new author's preface and two early stories that have never before appeared in any collection.
The website Magna GRECE, in Jan. 2012, ran a wide-ranging and thoughtful interview. Many thanks to Olivia Cerrone and John Napoli.
In October '09, John's novel Terremoto Napoletano, the Italian translation of Earthquake I.D., was the runner-up for Italy's Domenico Rea prize. A panel of editors and critics selected the finalists.
John's novel A Tomb on the Periphery made the short list for "the best of international publishing" at the London Book Festival.
Aaron Plesak has a fine and brainy essay-review about A Tomb on the Periphery in the February 2010 Collagist. "No object encountered is neutral... we are reminded how a tiny item or gesture may conjure the past... the pleasure is in discovering the characters." Many thanks to Aaron and the editors.
Terremoto Napoletano was translated by Stefano Manferlotti. The press is Tullio Pironti Editore, the first Italian house to publish Don DeLillo. In Italy the book has received a lot of attention. La Repubblica, the largest paper in Italy, praised the novel as "dense with surprises... with so many stories and characters knit together in rhythm and in harmony." In Il Mattino, Fabrizio Coscia calls it: "a voyage of initiation... that seduces and wounds... in a city unmasked by Domini's style, refined, visionary, and alert to paradox." In Roma, Marco Catizone writes that Terremoto Napoletano: "captures all the subversive possibilities of language in a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and image."
A long essay on new approaches to narrative has gotten a good deal of blog attention. The essay is "Against the 'Impossible to Explain:' the Postmodern Novel & Society.", and it's been discussed on HTMLGIANT and elsewhere.
Among the criticism and book reviews John has recently published, a number of have drawn special notice. A review in Bookforum was selected by the National Book Critics Circle as its "Review of the Week". An essay on Gilbert Sorrentino, in The Believer, drew an appreciative mention in Vanity Fair.
Recent short stories by John, part of a developing sequence he's calling MOVIEOLA!, have appeared in Gargoyle, Keyhole, and online at Conjunctions, and elimae. The elimae issue also has a brief interview.
John's two most recent grants came from the Iowa Arts Council, including a Major Artist Award for $8500 in '09.
Thanks to Richard Godwin for his wide-ranging interview at his Chin Wag site.
Thanks to Fred Gardaphe for his review of A Tomb on the Periphery in Frai Noi, Nov. 2009: "a thoroughly engaging story that stays true to its characters... Domini gets it and gets it right."
Thanks to Fred Misurella for his review in VIA: "tremendous entertainment value as well as literary heft..., energy and intelligence."
Thanks to Jason Pettus for his review of A Tomb on the Periphery for the Chicago Center for Literature & Photography. Pettus gave the novel 9.6 stars out of 10, and said it compared favorably to the work of Michael Chabon and Cormac McCarthy, "stunning in its quality."
Thanks to Emanuele Pettener for his interview with John in the Winter Rain Taxi.
Thanks to Dan Wickett and his Emerging Writers Network for selecting A Tomb on the Periphery as on of their favorites for 2008. Emerging Writers Network awarded the book four and half stars: "extremely well-developed characters... a flair not frequently seen..."
Thanks to Michael Madison for his review/interview in the October, '08, Bookslut.com. Madison said that A Tomb on the Periphery "takes the trappings of noir then transcends the genre... a lush and generous work."
Thanks to Linda Lappin for her review of A Tomb on the Periphery in GentlyReadLiterature.com. Lappin says the novel is "a flash of authentic Naples.... Extraordinary energy and plasticity... startles, stabs, tickles and at times dazzles."
Thanks to Dennis Barone for his penetrating review of A Tomb on the Periphery in Italian Americana Winter 2009. "Domini's writing might be called projectile-prose. Exhibiting a Jamesian complexity, ...he demonstrates a lively, generous mind in action through swift moving, sonorous language."
Thanks to Jason Pettus and the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography for a wonderful review of Earthquake I.D., online at January 9, 2009. Pettus gave the novel 9.5 stars out of 10: "I'm in the presence of greatness... one of the best-written books of our times."
Thanks to Fred Gardpahe for his thoughtful review of Earthquake I.D. in Fra Noi. "A well focused plot tightly wound... Enough mystery to keep the pages turning while telling a contemporary story that can touch us all."
A sampling of other reviews are on the Earthquake I.D. page, and under "Pertinent Links."
John's translation of Tullio Pironti's memoir, Books & Rough Business, is in bookstores and online. In Italy, the memoir received over 100 reviews.
"A tour de force, a crime novel and at the same time a moving story, A Tomb on the Periphery is wonderful." - Jay Parini
"John Domini is a master of suspense and psychological complexity." - Margot Livesey
"Earthquake I.D. is a wonderful novel of an old-fashioned sort... a rich feast." - Richard Ford, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
"John Domini is a writer of the world."