Shannon Burns reviews 'Dying in the First Person' by Nike Sulway

Shannon Burns reviews 'Dying in the First Person' by Nike Sulway

Dying in the First Person

by Nike Sulway

Transit Lounge $29.95 pb, 304 pp, 9780994395832

During boyhood, Samuel and his twin brother, Morgan, invent and in a sense inhabit a world and language called 'Nahum'. Years later – after a family tragedy and long separation – Morgan is a celebrated novelist, while Samuel makes a living translating his brother's fiction from Nahum into English.

The greater part of Dying in the First Person's force is figured in its language. It begins with Samuel's effort to imagine the recovery of Morgan's drowned body from a river in the Netherlands, where he has lived with a woman called Ana for some years. Ana accompanies the body home, and brings a secret or two with her.

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Shannon Burns

Shannon Burns

Shannon Burns is a freelance writer and member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice. He is a former ABR Patrons' Fellow, and has published short fiction, poetry, and academic articles.