Keene’s masterful prose smoothly transgresses traditional lines of representation and description
Genius—brilliant, polished and of considerable depth.
Annotations moves jaggedly, lightninglike, with speed and with wrought metonymic aplomb. It conduces to quick reaches of insight and accretion, unexpected lyric heft, quick elliptic dilation. In this book which achieves moment and range well beyond what its relative brevity leads one to expect, John Keene makes an auspicious debut.
The work of a gifted writer who seeks to immerse himself in the body of language so that certain ruling assumptions may open themselves up to an inner dialectical scanning.
When I first read John Keene’s fiction, almost a decade ago at Harvard, I knew immediately that I was in the presence of genius. With his work Annotations, Mr. Keene, after years of woodshedding and apprenticeships, has fulfilled that early promise. These poetic meditations about private lives and public events are brilliant, polished and of considerable depth.