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Book Title

Vanishing Point

Not a Memoir
Author 1
Ander Monson
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

In contemporary America, land of tell-all memoirs, self-improvement, and endless reality television, what kind of person denies the opportunity to present himself in his own voice, to lead with "I"? How many layers of a person's life can be peeled back before the self vanishes?

In this provocative, enormously witty series of meditations, Ander Monson faces down the idea of memoir, in all its guises, grappling with the lure of self-interest and self-presentation. While setting out to describe the experience of serving as head juror at the trial of Michael Antwone Jordan, he can't help veering off into an examination of his own transgressions, inadvertent and otherwise. He finds the hours he spends trying to get to Gerald R. Ford's funeral more worthy of scrutiny than the event itself. He considers his addiction to chemically concocted Doritos and disappointment in the plain, natural corn chip, and finds that the manufactured, considered form, at least in snacks, is ultimately a more rewarding experience than the "truth." So why is America so crazy about accurately confessional memoirs?

With Vanishing Point, Monson delivers on the promise shown in Neck Deep, which introduced his winning voice and ability to redefine the essay and "puts most memoirs to shame" (Time Out Chicago).

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An adventurous exploration of the "I" in American culture, by the author of Neck Deep and Other Predicaments

About the Author

Ander  Monson
Credit: Aidan Avery
Ander Monson is the author of Letter to a Future Lover; Vanishing Point, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Neck Deep and Other Predicaments. He edits DIAGRAM and the New Michigan Press. He lives in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona.
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  • “[Ander Monson] turns the banality of nonfiction inside out and thereby makes nonfiction a staging area to investigate claims of fact and truth, an extremely rich theater for exploring the most serious ontological questions.”—David Shields, The New York Times Book Review
  • “In Vanishing Point, Ander Monson has built himself a haunted labyrinth of identity, confusion, at the center of which lurks a Minotaur named ‘Ander Monson’. . . . Summoning up echoes of David Foster Wallace, Mark Dery and Douglas Rushkoff, Monson doggedly dissects the meaning of character and personality, using himself as lab rat. It’s a bravura and scary self-spelunking.”—The Barnes & Noble Review
  • “So funny and so smart (but never smug), Monson’s writing makes you realize how very alive thinking and writing can be.”—National Public Radio
  • “Monson’s prose is refreshing. . . . Vanishing Point is a truly fantastic and fascinating book by one of the most original voices in America.  Monson challenges the reader, literally and formally, to find themselves within an object that is fixed and unchanging—to, ultimately, decide what is important and what can be set aside for the time being, all in the service of better defining I.”—Bookslut
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