Adam Thirlwell

Adam Thirlwell’s most recent novel is Lurid & Cute.

Giant Eye Watching: Pola Oloixarac

Adam Thirlwell, 10 February 2022

Pola Oloixarac​ has written three novels, though calling them novels seems too reassuringly bland. They’re baroquely layered with ideas, hacker theory, anthropology, natural history, mythology, dystopias. I admire them very much, but reading them can also bring moments of boredom or impatience. Ideas are allowed to expand in unexpected habitats. Oloixarac’s characters give...

It’s still not right: ‘Empty Words’

Adam Thirlwell, 19 March 2020

In​ Mario Levrero’s novel Empty Words a writer, unable to change the vast mess of his life, decides to improve one small part of it: his handwriting.

My graphological self-therapy begins today. This method (suggested a while ago by a crazy friend) stems from the notion – which is central to graphology – that there’s a profound connection between a person’s...

This is a miniature dictionary of the invented English in The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon’s charming, flawed and exhausting new novel:

bik (Yiddish: bull) – doormanlatke (Yiddish: potato cake) – 1. police cap 2. policemannoz (Yiddish: nose) – policemanshammes (Yiddish: assistant to rabbi, beadle) – policemansholem (Yiddish: peace) – gun

‘To abdicate​ your power is so much harder than it seems,’ the narrator of Lurid & Cute says. It’s a difficulty that Adam Thirlwell’s fiction up to this point has...

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Frazzle: Chinese Whispers

Michael Wood, 8 August 2013

Borges said his essay ‘The Homeric Versions’ represented his first appearance as a Hellenist. ‘I do not think I shall ascend to a second,’ he added. This modest forecast...

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You might think that Adam Thirlwell, as an author of self-absorbed sex comedies, had no obvious credentials for writing about the Arab Spring (the title of his first novel, Politics, was a joke)....

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A Taste for the Obvious: Adam Thirlwell

Brian Dillon, 22 October 2009

The Escape is Adam Thirlwell’s third book. His first novel, Politics, was published in 2003 and won some acclaim for its energetic smut and (less frequently) for its alternately faux-naif...

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