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Michael Fitzgerald

Late: A novel by Michael Fitzgerald

December 2023, no. 460

Michael Fitzgerald’s new novel, Late, opens with a camera obscura, a direct reference to Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The image is a nifty one – a portrait projected across the Pacific Ocean, as well as across time itself – and it goes some way to signalling the author’s intentions: he wants to create a novel deliberately weighted by the creative works (films, books, art, and sculpture) that have come before and, for his protagonist – who in real life died on 4 August 1962 – those that have come since.

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Simile haunts The Pacific Room. So many sentences begin ‘It’s as if ...’ that the phrase seems like an incantation. Michael Fitzgerald writes that he agrees with Robert Louis Stevenson that ‘every book is, in an intimate sense, a circular letter to the friends of him who writes it. They alone take his meaning.’ For the reviewer coming from outside the circle, this ...

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