Hailed a “Best Book of the Year” by NPR, Publishers Weekly, Vulture, and the New York Public Library, Some Trick is now in paperback
For sheer unpredictable brilliance, Gogol may come to mind, but no author alive today takes a reader as far as Helen DeWitt into the funniest, most far-reaching dimensions of possibility. Her jumping-off points might be statistics, romance, the art world’s piranha tank, games of chance and games of skill, the travails of publishing, or success. “Look,” a character begins to explain, laying out some gambit reasonably enough, even in the face of situations spinning out to their utmost logical extremes, where things prove “more complicated than they had first appeared” and “at 3 a.m. the circumstances seem to attenuate.” In various ways, each tale carries DeWitt’s signature poker-face lament regarding the near-impossibility of the life of the mind when one is made to pay to have the time for it, in a world so sadly “taken up with all sorts of paraphernalia superfluous, not to say impedimental, to ratiocination.”
About the Author
Author of The Last Samurai and Lightning Rods, “Helen Dewitt knows, in descending order of proficiency, Latin, ancient Greek, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese: ‘The self is a set of linguistic patterns,’ she said. ‘Reading and speaking in another language is like stepping into an alternate history of yourself where all the bad connotations are gone’ (New York Magazine).”
DeWitt certainly has some more tricks up her sleeve.
Brilliant and inimitable Helen DeWitt: patron saint of anyone in the world who has to deal with the crap of those in power who do a terrible job with their power, and who make those who are under their power utterly miserable. — Sheila Heti
I like dry humor with a stick of dynamite strapped to it. The forthcoming collection Some Trick by Helen DeWitt, is probably the most recent example.
— Sloane Crosley
A gem: one of fiction’s greatest minds—dazzling.
One definition of a genius is that she is so dissatisfied with the way the world is that she compels it to adjust to her, rather than following the usual course of adjusting to it. How do you get a complacent world to stop talking and pay attention? Some Trick suggests that the answer involves stubbornness, oddity, and a great deal of talent. — Adam Kirsch
DeWitt's style is brilliantly heartless, and cork-dry. — James Wood
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