Mitch Cullin Recommends

“One of my favorite modern works, Notes of a Desolate Man by Chu T’ien-Wen, perfectly captures the alienation and internal ruminations of many gay men; that it was written by a Taiwanese woman is no less remarkable, although Chu T’ien-Wen–acclaimed in her homeland as a novelist, intellectual, and screenwriter–has long been one of the best-kept literary secrets (at least in the West, surely due to so little of her work having been translated here). Free-flowing, non-narrative in the traditional sense, rich with metaphors and allusions, the narrator, Shao, reflects on, among other things, the death of a childhood friend from AIDS, Fellini, Levi-Strauss, and, ultimately, himself.”

Mitch Cullin is the author of seven books including A Slight Trick of the Mind and The Cosmology of Bing. His novel Tideland is now a motion picture by Terry Gilliam. Besides writing, he continues to work on projects with his partner Peter I. Chang, among them a documentary about Hisao Shinagawa and the forthcoming Howe Gelb concert film This Band Has No Members.