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The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis (Little House on the Bowery) Paperback – Bargain Price, January 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Little House on the Bowery
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,607,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gluth probes the effects of death in his creepily enchanting debut, a delicate narrative consisting of a chain of lives connected by deaths. The first death concerns an elderly writer named Margaret Kroftis living alone with her dog; a fire starts in her house while she's out for a walk, and she is devastated to learn that her dog, trapped in the house, has perished. Months later, completing the last scrap she will write (My Watery Death), Margaret dies in her bed. Margaret returns in the next section, involving a group of high school students: Beth is composing a script about Margaret in her first foray as a writer; however, she is distracted by her feverish attraction to Peter, a musician in a band whose singer, J, kills himself. Later, Beth and Peter, older and living together, befriend a waiflike neighbor and amateur photographer, Mira, who is killed in a car accident. The dead move among these meandering vignettes like ghosts with the lack of cohesiveness ably compensated by Gluth's impressionistic and dreamy prose. (Jan.)
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In this debut novel, Margaret is a writer leading a solitary existence, with only her dog as companion. One day, when she goes out for a walk, her house burns down with her dog inside. Margaret thus begins to reflect on death in all of its permutations, even as she finishes up the last writing she will ever do. This reverie continues in surrealistic, daydreaming fashion throughout Gluth's slim novel, which relates other tales of loss. High school student Beth, who is writing about Margaret, falls for Peter, whose band mate commits suicide; later, when Beth and Peter are a couple, a young neighbor who aspires to be a photographer dies in an accident. VERDICT There is not much plot in this evocative, emotional work, and it is not needed. In short, impressionistic sentences that soon become hypnotic, Gluth captures the atmosphere brilliantly and leaves the reader in awe of his ability. Readers looking for something different will appreciate this work--and, given his writing style, might wish that he also applied his talents to poetry in the future.--Lisa Rohrbaugh, National Coll., Youngstown, OH --Library Journal, March 1, 2010

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
When you're alone, your thoughts and anxieties seem to take a stronger grasp of your life. "The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis" tells the story of this woman through the pen of Mark Gluth, who paints this individual as a troubled woman coping with her own grief, trying to come to terms with her life. A tale that will resonate with many readers, "The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis" is a fine read that shouldn't be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Moss on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Devastatingly beautiful. Devastating and sad and immensely beautiful. Mark Gluth's debut novella will grip you with its terse, declarative sentences, pull you along with its wandering domestic storylines and make you feel the crushing burden of the seasons, love and being. It will make you long for your loved ones who will one day die and make the world around you stand out in significant beauty simply because it is present and real and exists.

As in life the events that occur in The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis are driven by chance, have little meaning behind their causation: tragedy occurs, words are said, life goes on. Events happen, many without reason, but which have far reaching effects. Gluth is masterful at writing the main events of the novel off the page, this keeps the narrative's focus away from unnecessary distraction and on the emotions of the characters.This simultaneously shows great restraint on his part and maintains a detached feeling throughout. The events that occur to the characters are sad, insidiously and hopelessly sad and the only force that holds the characters together are the love which they share with each other. Young couples, old couples, humans with each other and humans with animal companions. Love is the quiet central theme of the work and by hiding it beneath layers of tragedy Gluth makes love appear that much more beautiful. Gluth shows that love is fleeting, mortal and insulates us from entropy.

Much of Late Work is a study in the connections between dreams, art, love and death. Every character whose profession is mentioned is an artist: sketcher, writer, photographer, playwright. Some are more talented than others but art is universally portrayed as a source of freedom and a way to connect with love after death.
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More About the Author

I am the author of The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis (Akashic/Little House On the Bowery, 2010). I live in the Pacific Northwest with my wife and our 3 dogs. All 5 of us are vegan. My Emusic profile says "I listen to Indie Rock, Black Metal and Drum and Bass. I like sad music and rainy days". You can email me @