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The Transverse Review of Books
Drawing by Dee Shapiro. © Frigate: The Transverse Review of Books, 2000.

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— We are multi-syncratic, with a spectrum of vivid voices.
— We like quirk and flavor.
— We read difficult writing for the sheer pleasure of its language.
— We are fond of all things experimental, innovative and playful.
— We loathe blandness, earnestness and pious correctitude.

Believing as we do that the concept of the avant-garde has been thoroughly commodified, our emphasis is less on the new than on the good and the singular.

We admire the uncompromising intelligence of The New York Review of Books, the learned, deep, rich, hugely discursive, and wide-ranging reach of its grasp. However, we see a need for a review organ that delivers intelligent discussion in short articles with a lively tone. We are committed to alternative presses, emerging voices, and literary excellence for its own sake.

For us, complex writing is not an arid, cerebral pleasure, set apart from ordinary life, but rather something good to eat, both nourishing and delicious. We can't say we're the only literary book review with cookbook, music and video columnists, but we suspect we're one of the few.

Most importantly, we are publishing a banquet of ambitious critical writing — for example, in our first issue, Eric Darton's essay on The People from Heaven by John Sanford, Part I of Darton's series on the radical novel — arguably, in the encroaching monoculture, an endangered species.

We once believed that the critic's sole responsibility was to shoulder the burden of new art — to give the argument for it. Now we are prepared to enlarge that definition. The category of the new has become the fuel of the market engine, encouraging the perpetuity of the unexceptional. Meanwhile, the category of excellence — especially excellence which does not cater to homogenized McTaste — stands in urgent need of the critic's attention and support.

In addition to giving the argument for new art, then, we will be publishing essays that are frankly recuperative. We will also be reprinting sections of undercelebrated classics, beginning with Sleepers Awake by Kenneth Patchen. If by such strategies we call into question the reigning canon, which has been so compromised by the corporatism of American, and indeed, worldwide publishing, so much the better.

Patricia Eakins
for the editors of Frigate


Editor and Publisher: Patricia Eakins

Guest Editor, TransPacific Focus, Issue 3: Xu Xi

Senior Editors: Eric Darton, Bronwyn Mills, Elaine Terranova

Associate Editors:
—at large, Jan Alexander
—for manuscript preparation: Katie Kehrig
—for fiction: James Reed

Assistant Editors (manuscript preparation): Anna Cypra Oliver, Lorraine Affourtit

Art Editor and Curator of Eye Candy: Dee Shapiro

Acquiring Editor for France: Françoise Palleau-Papin

Senior Contributing Editors: Barbara Flug Colin, Elizabeth Brunazzi

Contributing Editors: Robert Abel, Barbara Boncek, Steve Brouwer, Gail Cain, Sam Hasegawa, Beth Henson, Jack Israel, Peter Martin, Jeffery Morehouse, Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, Jason Schneiderman, Gay Partington Terry, J.C. Todd

Links Researcher: Greg Partridge

Art Director: Judith Henry

Web Site Builder and Webmaster: Julie Tam

Logo drawing and bird motif by Dee Shapiro

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All rights reserved on behalf of the authors.

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