Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return
Publisher: Coffee House Press
• Martin Riker spent years at Dalkey Archive before founding Dorothy, a Publishing Project with his wife Danielle Dutton and has deep connections in the literary world and with booksellers.
• The novel has an old-fashioned grace to it, taking a straightforward format and a humane, gentle tone, but the questions it asks are pressing: how do we use technology to avoid each other? What does it mean to engage with one’s life? In a fragmented cultural landscape, how can we find shared ground?
• “How to be a person” is a question CHP’s fiction has addressed again and again, and Riker’s novel takes this on with aplomb, but without the pitch of anxiety or destabilizing absurdity of some of our more experimental books.
• Riker is a frequent reviewer for the New York Times (most recently the very well-received Solar Bones), which gives context to this, his first book, and should also increase his coverage in the media.