A wide-ranging, deeply intelligent collection of literary, social, cultural, and personal essays, from the piercingly perceptive author of Veronica and The Mare.
Whether she’s writing about date rape or political adultery or writers from John Updike to Gillian Flynn, Mary Gaitskill reads her subjects deftly and aphoristically and moves beyond them to locate the deep currents of longing, ambition, perversity, and loneliness in the American unconscious. In these essays, she shows us the transcendentalism of the Talking Heads, the melancholy of Björk, and the playfulness of artist Laurel Nakadate. She celebrates the clownish grandiosity and the poetry of Norman Mailer’s long career and maps the sociosexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace. Witty, tender, beautiful, and unsettling, Somebody with a Little Hammer displays the same heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which Gaitskill’s writing has always been known.