Are We Cheating?

Like any novel, or essay, or poem, San Francisco author Anne Germanacos' new book, Tribute, comes at you one line at a time. Part of what distinguishes Germanacos' lines is the space she leaves between them, every one of them, rendering her prose in a sort of literary pointillism. Maybe it's a mirror for our age of abundant Tweetage and attention shortage, in which, to borrow from the author herself, “If you can't make something decent out of interruptions, you're doomed.” Maybe it's a bold reduction to primordial linguistic economy. In any case, and this is the other part, Germanacos gathers her gems into a great and luminous mosaic. A novel, an essay, a poem, even, in its way, a memoir, Tribute is a big book about grief and love and how to live, scaled to exacting smallness. As such, it's a wonderfully conscientious answer to the three-word existential question Germanacos poses early on: “Is writing cheating?”

Wed., June 4, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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