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Is There God after Prince?

Dispatches from an Age of Last Things

Essays considering what it means to love art, culture, and people in an age of accelerating disaster.
This is a book about loving things—books, songs, people—in the shadow of a felt, looming disaster. Through lyrical, funny, heart-wrenching essays, Peter Coviello considers pieces of culture across a fantastic range, setting them inside the vivid scenes of friendship, dispute, romance, talk, and loss, where they enter our lives. Alongside him, we reencounter movies like The Shining, shows like The Sopranos; videos; poems; novels by Sam Lipsyte, Sally Rooney, and Paula Fox; as well as songs by Joni Mitchell, Gladys Knight, Steely Dan, Pavement, and the much-mourned saint of Minneapolis, Prince.
Navigating an overwhelming feeling that Coviello calls “endstrickenness,” he asks what it means to love things in calamitous times, when so much seems to be shambling toward collapse. Balancing comedy and anger, exhilaration and sorrow, Coviello illuminates the strange ways the things we cherish help us to hold on to life and to its turbulent joys. Is There God after Prince? shows us what twenty-first-century criticism can be, and how it might speak to us, in a time of ruin, in an age of “Last Things.”

304 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Biography and Letters

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Table of Contents

Introduction: Praisesongs and Descants
Overture: Talk, Talk

Part I: Sounds
Is There God after Prince?
The Last Psychedelic Band
Karaoke for the People
The Everyday Disaster
What We Fight about When We Fight about Doctor Wu

Part II: Ceremonies
Love in the Ruins
Joy Rounds First
Loving John
The Impostor

Part III: Kids
Our Noise
Where I Want to Be
Ghost Stories
Rhapsody for the Crash Years

Part IV: Sentences
So-Called Normal People
Say Chi City
Our Man in the Fifteenth
Killing Joke

Part V: Ends
My Thoughts Are Murder
Mercy Hours
In the Maze
Anthony and Carmela Get Vaccinated

Afterword: Exit Wounds


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