Proxies : A Memoir in Twenty-four Attempts
In this memoir in twenty-four essays, Blanchfield focuses on a startling miscellany of topics – Foot Washing, Dossiers, Br’er Rabbit, Housesitting, Man Roulette, the Locus Amoenus – that begin to unpack the essayist himself and his life’s rotating concerns: sex and sexuality, poetry and poetics, and his upbringing in working-class, Primitive Baptist, North Carolina.
'A rich and compelling personal account.' --Financial Times
'Everyone ought to read Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies immediately . . . It will change you' --BOMB
'The premise of this autobiographical essay collection is simple: Blanchfield writes from memory alone, without consulting any outside resources to fact check. As the author explains, "I wrote these essays with the internet off." The result is unlike anything written before. The 24 single topic essays in Proxies are short and focused (topics range from owls to housesitting to frottage), but every single one leads to a more personal revelation or a wider point about the author's life or the greater world. The conclusions of his writings feel organic and authentic, and the 20+ pages of corrections at the end of the book only validate how powerful writing from memory and relying only upon what's inside your own brain can be.' --Esquire (US edition)
'The most brilliant book I’ve read in years. Anyone who has been amazed (and rightly so) by Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts should read this book post-haste.' --Guardian
Brian Blanchfield is the author of two books of poetry, Not Even Then and A Several World, which received the 2014 James Laughlin Award and was a longlist finalist for the National Book Award, and a collection of essays entitled Proxies: A Memoir in Twenty-Four Attempts. His essays have appeared in Harper’s, BOMB, Brick, Guernica, Story Quarterly, and other publications. Recipient of a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction, he is an editor of Fence and the host of Speedway and Swan on KXCI 91.3 in Tucson.