A review of

The Age Of Dreaming

by Nina Revoyr

Central question: What would happen if Raymond Chandler wrote of murder and mayhem with tenderness and regret?
Format: Trade paperback; Size: 5 ¼ " x 8 ¼ "; Price: $15.95; Publisher: Akashic Books; Editors: Johnny Temple and Johanna Ingalls; Print run: 15,000; Book designer: Aaron Petrovich; Cover designer: Jon Resh/Undaunted; Typeface: Californian; Real-life example of unabashed racism during novel’s time period: L.A. district attorney was also the head of the Anti-Asiatic Society; Character of Jun based on: real-life silent-film star Sessue Hayakawa; Representative sentence: “But I have always thought it was misguided to attach too much significance to something so fanciful and ephemeral as film.”

Nina Revoyr is a writer who distrusts words. In place of an epigraph, she bestows upon her novel a Nietzschean epitaph: That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts. She celebrates silent films, eschewing “talkies.” She creates a protagonist, Jun Nakayama, who is rendered inarticulate at every emotional peak in his life: confronted with racism, oblivion, love, even joy, he says nothing much at all. Years later he excuses himself: “Words would have diminished what I felt.”

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Darcie Dennigan

Darcie Dennigan’s first poetry collection, Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse, was published this year. She lives in Rhode Island.

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