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Skyland
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About the Author

Andrew Durbin is a writer and editor who lives in New York. He is the author of Mature Themes (2014) and MacArthur Park (2017), both from Nightboat Books. In 2018, MacArthur Park was a finalist for the Believer Book Award. He is the editor of Kevin Killian's Fascination: Memoirs (Semiotexte, 2018) and the chapbook series Say bye to reason and hi to everything (Capricious, 2015). His fiction, criticism, and poetry have appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, frieze, Mousse, The Paris Review, Triple Canopy, and elsewhere. He is the US Senior Editor of frieze magazine.

Reviews

"Durbin's loose, impressionistic novella-about a writer who visits the Greek island of Patmos to find a painting of the cult novelist Herve Guibert-offers many of the sly insights and scabrous pleasures of Guibert's own work."-The New York Times

"Guibert has even inspired (fictional) pilgrims, as he once predicted; in Andrew Durbin's novella Skyland (Nightboat), two young men search for a lost portrait of the writer on the island of Patmos."-The New Yorker
"In Durbin's lush, languid novella (after MacArthur Park), a writer flies to Greece in search of a painting while romanticizing its subject, the French writer Herve Guibert, who died of AIDS in 1991... Durbin's dreamy, sensual odyssey gamely harkens back to a bygone era in gay lit."-Publishers Weekly
"Based in part on Guibert's posthumously published Paradise, Skyland is a dreamy odyssey haunted by a central absence, the kind of tragedy of longing that the French writer perfected."-The New York Review of Books
"Durbin's is the kind of lackadaisical trip where you drink retsina for breakfast, chase patchy internet to cruise men on the apps, meet a French stranger on the beach and take him up a nearby hill to fuck in private...The book revels in its loose, unfinished quality, weaving tidbits from Guibert's life and work together with more immediate impressions and anecdotes."-Harper's Magazine
"
Skyland
is a nice example of fiction tinged by the terror of our contemporary age without being subsumed by it... So even if Durbin's "biography-through-the-periphery" about Guibert remains largely unfinished, he has written something even harder to define, an airy-yet-ominous diary of a wine-fogged week on a biblical island, one that-like "the missing portrait of Guibert"-hovers right there in front of us, nudging us along, floating "just out of reach.""-The Hudson Review"Although he does not find the painting of Herve Guibert he is looking for, he finds instead another Tsarouchis painting of two beautiful boys sat on a rock, one that 'allowed us a glimpse of the past we would never access, one that preceded us and could never be undone', but which also bring to light an imagined menagerie of gay men - a cruising coterie, summoned in solidarity."-The Cambridge Humanities Review"Epochs collide in Skyland: ancient Greece, Paris at the peak of the AIDS crisis, Summer 2017 on Patmos, and, for today's readers, the moment of racial reckoning we're witnessing now."-GAYLETTER

"Certainly, there is more than meets the eye in this slim novella. Skyland tells a story of lust and desire - for men, sure, but for something more complex, too. It's a story about reaching new planes of discovery within one's creative practice. Ultimately, Durbin is most interested in pushing the boundaries of what is considered fiction."-Full Stop

"Haunting and beautiful and full of phantoms past and present, Skyland rewrites the mythic."-Chloe Aridjis

"In Skyland, Andrew Durbin searches for the final image, an icon: the portrait of a writer who wrote his death. Durbin's inner necessity exceeds the bounds of his story-swimming, dining, finding sex, getting in trouble. He's on a Grecian holiday with his buddy Shiv, they're tourists, right? But Durbin's anticipation conveys a sense of faith-faith in what?-in his life-in-death or death-in-life, in a fiction that gives him access to the present. History falls away till it comes crashing through, as is its wont. Reality and unreality trade places, then trade back again. A boat finally arrives-to ferry them across Styx to the underworld, across Lethe to oblivion, or across the East Aegean to the next party beach."-Robert Gluck

"Gusty, luminous, elegiac, and unexpectedly moving, Skyland is a languidly-paced meditation on the fecundity of objects (be they imagined or finally discovered) and a quietly hedonic seaside travelogue. While the quest for the lost portrait of Herve Guibert keeps things taut, the scantness of events otherwise is a joy-the book's amplitude is manifest in an economy of details, mostly visual descriptions, rendered in decisive, elegantly understated prose."-Harry Dodge

"Andrew Durbin gives us all the information we will need to make it in the precarious margins of the art world: parables of love and drugs, evidence of the impending apocalypse, and play-by-plays of the cocktail and conference banter of the powerful."-Lucy Ives

"One of the few younger writers brazen enough to take up Gary Indiana's velvet-lined gauntlet, Andrew Durbin steals from the master's toolbox only to construct something entirely his own, personal or, rather, 'personal.'"-Bruce Hainley

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