Reviews -- A Transparent Tree

"Robert Kelly's Scorpions was one of the finest of the cult novels of the '60s, 'cult' being a euphemism for 'undeservedly underread,' and it alerted us to a very special talent. Since then, we've learned to watch out for his short fictions, often lighting up the literary world with their astonishing mix of intellect, romanticism, and daring imagination. This collection, with such Kelly classics as 'Cities,' and 'The Guest,' is a welcome publishing event."
-- Robert Coover
"Readers familiar with [Kelly's poetry and essays] will find many of the features of his work from the outset: a lyrical prose style that mixes eroticism and erudition, a focus on the act of perception and on the presentation of sensory stimuli and sexual impulses in highly charged images, a sense of shock, wonder and utter bewilderment that human consciousness exists at all and a primal urge to leave behind a mark of his own particular consciousness in sensuous language.... For all their experimentalism, the stories are usually compelling, full of exotic adventures, erotic encounters and crazed and vibrant central characters. ...For all the erudition Kelly brings to these stories (many references to obscure myths and texts, arcane words, unusual sources of knowledge), his most impressive ability is to re-create the exhilarating 'hereness' of physical sensation..."
-- New York Times Book Review
"A rich and soulful innovator with a sure and accurate map."
-- Conjnctions
"Many single-author collections of stories are the same story retold with minor variations; that is not the case here. Each of these fictions is an attempt to explore the capabilities of language to express the mystery and excitement of man's relationship with the universe, the connection between consciousness and its object, and the connection between imagination and reality.... The affinities are with the writings of Borges, Nabokov, Calvino, and Robert Coover."
-- Choice
"A Transparent Tree sinks its roots deep and is one of those rare books that continues to grow and branch out in your life long after you've read it."
-- City Paper

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