‘Search History’ by Eugene Lim: Rewriting the World After Loss

by Shelby Hinte

If the art a society chooses to endorse is a measure of who and what it values, then it is also a measure of who and what it denounces. What is art, and who decides, are central questions in Eugene Lim’s latest novel, Search History (208 pages; Coffee House Press). The book is a metafictional examination of art and identity-making that is part action-packed speculative fiction, part autobiography, and part intellectual banter on all things art, race, technology, and death. Search History feels reminiscent of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture and the dialogue-heavy ’90’s films that […]

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ZYZZYVA Interview Series: Mauro Javier Cardenas

by me

Mauro Javier Cardenas (whose story “Dora and Her Dog” was published in Issue No. 104) is the author of the new novel The Revolutionaries Try Again (Coffee House Press). Harper’s Magazine has described his first novel as “a high-octane, high-modernist” work “from the gifted, fleet Mauro Javier Cardenas.” And in its starred review, Publishers Weekly said “Cardenas dizzyingly leaps from character to character, from street protests to swanky soirees, and from lengthy uninterrupted interior monologues to rapid-fire dialogues and freewheeling satirical radio programs, resulting in extended passages of brilliance.” Cardenas spoke to ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon about his book at […]

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Skulking in the Comments Section: Travis Nichols’ ‘The More You Ignore Me’


Travis Nichols’ hard-to-describe second novel, The More You Ignore Me (Coffee House Press; 211 pages), takes the form of a single, rambling blog comment—a decade-spanning, bitterly confessional manifesto written in response to a recipe posted on the fictitious BrendaCookingFun.com. Its author, the narrator—who goes unnamed except for two screen names: Linksys181 and Linksys157—resorts to commenting on a cooking website only because he’s been banned from doing the same on Charlico.com, a website dedicated to a wedding the narrator is deeply consumed with preventing. The reason for this obsession, and the nature of Linksys181’s relationship to Charli Vistons, the female half […]

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