Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschler’s articles have intrigued readers throughout his long career. He examines everything, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and his insights are illuminating.Uncanny Valley continues the page-turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writer’s block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures. With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected” (The Globe and Mail). Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.
Adventures in the Narrative
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LAWRENCE WESCHLER is regarded as one of the leading practitioners of literary nonfiction. His essays have appeared in The New Yorker for over twenty years, and his series of “Convergences” is a regular feature in McSweeney’s Quarterly. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, he currently teaches at New York University.