Aug 9 - Fog

Aug 9 - Fog Review

A Paris Review Staff Pick, one of Chicago Tribune's 25 Hot Books of Summer, and one of The A.V. Club's 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2019

A stark, elegiac account of unexpected pleasures and the progress of seasons

Fifteen years ago, Kathryn Scanlan found a stranger's five-year diary at an estate auction in a small town in Illinois. The owner of the diary was eighty-six years old when she began recording the details of her life in the small book, a gift from her daughter and son-in-law. The diary was falling apart--water-stained and illegible in places--but magnetic to Scanlan nonetheless.

After reading and rereading the diary, studying and dissecting it, for the next fifteen years she played with the sentences that caught her attention, cutting, editing, arranging, and rearranging them into the composition that became Aug 9--Fog (she chose the title from a note that was tucked into the diary). "Sure grand out," the diarist writes. "That puzzle a humdinger," she says, followed by, "A letter from Lloyd saying John died the 16th." An entire state of mourning reveals itself in "2 canned hams." The result of Scanlan's collaging is an utterly compelling, deeply moving meditation on life and death.

In Aug 9--Fog, Scanlan's spare, minimalist approach has a maximal emotional effect, remaining with the reader long after the book ends. It is an unclassifiable work from a visionary young writer and artist--a singular portrait of a life revealed by revision and restraint.

Title:Aug 9 - Fog

    Aug 9 - Fog Reviews

  • Bandit

    This isn’t really a book, is it? Not in a way that someone would spend money on it, surely. Technically, yes, it’s formatted and published as a book, but realistically speaking it is 128 pages I w...

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    "Ever where glare of ice. We didn'tsleep too good. My pep has left me.D. & I out to cemetery towardevening. Flowers frozen. We arealone tonite."Kathryn Scanlan’s Aug 9—Fog is a rearrangement of se...

  • Richard

    A small, quiet experiment about a life lived. Day to day, storm to storm, death to death. A special artifact. I look forward to Scanlan's collection of brilliant short fiction!...

  • Christopher

    Glad there’s room in the world for something like this. Quiet and small, but beautiful. A perfectly titled experience. ...

  • Ben Niespodziany

    This book just wrecked me. Throughout the reading, I found myself jotting down ideas and fragments for my own pieces of flash/poetry. The ending! So minimal and timeless and surreal and moving. Makes ...

  • Jonathan

    2.5- this was such a smart intriguing idea and it was executed somewhat well for me but still left me desiring a little more. I think some will find what the book is telling and that’s amazing becau...

  • Andrew

    I'm not even really sure how to categorize this. It's labeled as fiction, but it's real pieces of an elderly woman's private diary... nonfiction? Honestly, I would have just preferred her transcribed ...

  • Amanda Clark

    The worst thing about this book is that it ended. I absolutely adore this little book and already plan on buying it for several people that would also love it!...

  • Kathleen

    What a bizarre little book! I enjoyed it very much, and even started to feel for the characters. The voice of the original writer still comes through....

  • Ema

    This is gorgeous....