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Harry Mathews’s last novel is his most accessible— and perhaps his best


Available March 27th, 2018

The Solitary Twin

Fiction by Harry Mathews

with a contribution by John Ashbery

John and Paul were also visitors to the town. They were twins, as identical as can be. They wore the same clothes, chino trousers and open-neck sweaters, in John’s case adorned with a faded maroon neckerchief. Both were addicted to the shellfish harvested year-round from the rocks and sands of the coast: little clams, winkles, cockles, crabs, and above all sea urchins–their dessert, as both said. They drank only McEwan’s India pale ale and smoked the same thin black Brazilian cigars ...

So begins the great writer Harry Mathews’s last novel, The Solitary Twin, a rollicking yet incredibly moving story of two young men who come to a picturesque beach town. Seen prismatically through the viewpoints of the town's residents, they offer a variety of worldviews. Yet are they really twins or a single person?

Harry Mathews, the first American member of the French avant-garde literary society Oulipo, and long associated with the New York School of Poets, passed away this year, and The Solitary Twin is his last novel. “I believe this novel is his best,” his friend John Ashbery has declared.

published March 27th, 2018