Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves: Bookmarked

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is a postmodern typographical puzzle about a suburban home that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Danielewski combines haunted house horror, domestic drama and paranoid obsession into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. He layers narrative upon narrative: Johnny Truant, an unstable first-person narrator, curates and comments on the disorganized works of Zampanò, a recently deceased blind man who was studying The Navidson Record, a documentary filmed in the titular house by photographer Will Navidson. Much of House of Leaves alternates between Zampanò's satirical in-depth academic study of the Record and Johnny's devolving mental state, his psychosis deepening alongside the inexplicably expanding labyrinth in Navidson's house.

Since its publication in 2000 by Pantheon, House of Leaves has entertained, perplexed and unsettled legions of readers. Michael Seidlinger was so inspired by Danielewski's work that he became an author (The Laughter of Strangers, The Face of Any Other, Falter Kingdom). In this addition to Ig Publishing's Bookmarked series, in which authors reflect on books that have shaped their lives and careers, Seidlinger hurls himself through a personal maze of self-reflection, literary influences and a writing process as winding and wondrous as Danielewski's house. As Seidlinger processes the novel chapter by chapter, each new element sends him on long, frequently footnoted discourses about his journey as a writer that are as heartfelt as they are illuminating. Fans of House of Leaves and those interested in behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creative process will enjoy this volume of Bookmarked. --Tobias Mutter, freelance reviewer

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