Death Café resumes and refines Harold Jaffe’s ongoing anatomy of the world in pain. Featuring 19 innovative fictions and docufictions set in Africa, Europe, China, India, the Middle East, and the benighted US, the collection addresses issues of global warming, political defiance, committed art-making, dream space, and speculative discourse. As always, Jaffe works his literary voodoo in variable tonalities that are uncannily formulated, displaying unequal doses of razor-edged satire and compassion.
HAROLD JAFFE is the author of numerous volumes of fiction, novels, docufiction, and essays. His books have been translated into 15 languages and he has received many accolades, among them two NEA grants, two Fulbright fellowships, and three Pushcart Prizes. Jaffe teaches literature at San Diego State University and is editor-in-chief of Fiction International.
"The literary genre, docufiction, has been created and deftly utilized by Jaffe in Death Café and other works. It includes the art of taking historical, news, or other media-based accounts and teasing out the hidden assumptions, essentially by deconstructing, re-imagining, and often, though not always, satirizing, to obtain an alternative point of view that exposes a higher level of socio-cultural awareness." —AUTRE
"Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Death Café beyond Jaffeʼs extraordinary, singularly individualized prose, with its innovative blend of lyricism, range of erudition, and its unexpected revelatory counter-narratives disembodying largely unseen global relations between disasters of war and emerging technological meaning systems, is its ability to turn this torment into a way to rethink political and rhetorical authority and see to the side of the ceaseless buzz of spectacle, hashtags and retold truths, all while somehow suggesting a profound sense of compassion without resorting to sentimentalism." —POETRY INTERNATIONAL
"Jaffe’s portraits of the dispossessed are moving, insightful glimpses of the human spirit under stress." —NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Jaffe is to fiction what Merce Cunningham is to dance, what John Cage is to verbal-musical presentation." —NEWSDAY
"As always, Jaffe’s writing is moving, comical, marvelously deft." —THE WASHINGTON POST
"Jaffe’s writing is like no one else writing today." —AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW