TO REMAIN NAMELESS is out from Rescue Press

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Tess keeps vigil at the bedside of her friend Laura through a long night of labor as Laura’s first child arrives. The two have known each other for what seems like forever. Their humanitarian aid work has taken them from the Balkans, to Egypt, to Istanbul amid the ongoing refugee crisis—an era that includes the US’s war in Iraq, the Arab Spring, and many forms of global consequence and aftermath. Brad Fox’s first novel is a luminous inquiry into the incarnations and limits of hope. This writer helps us endure our questions about what forms care may take, what we may offer to anyone, near and far.


Brad Fox’s virtuoso novelistic voice, alternately terse and florid, in the mode of José Saramago, Roberto Bolaño, or Alberto Moravia, is sonorous, lapidary, and melancholy—a seamless dreamy fabulist omniscience, bearing world-weary witness to perilous events, both inner and outer. Fox gives the impression of having lived underground or in other centuries and of only now emerging from his hiding place to narrate these limpid yet dense fantasias. A phenomenally gifted novelist and a probing intellectual, he transforms critical thinking into dramatic scenario. “Thought” isn’t appended to the story, but emerges in the complicated telling of the tale. In a bravura feat of formal construction, To Remain Nameless flashes between a birth scene and international adventures: from the cramped, germinating vantage of a hospital room, the novelist unfurls a teeming network of international exaltations and disappointments. The room compresses; the world expands. Djuna Barnes and Virginia Woolf pioneered this trick of simultaneous engorgement and diminution, of funhouse-mirror space-time reversal; and now Brad Fox, wonder-worker, takes up the dizzying mantle.

Daring, vivid and utterly original, Brad Fox’s debut is a tour de force.

To Remain Nameless is a gorgeous meditation on a shifting self in a shifting world, a querying-onward in which there’s both melancholy and delight.

Very intense like a bright light.

Lockdown Lit reading at Tatnuck Books

To Remain Nameless was released at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were all in lockdown and no one knew what was going to happen. It was not a good time to release a book. But interesting things happened as everyone tried to find their bearings. The amazing Mary South (You Will Never Be Forgotten) started a mailing list for writers who put books out at that time, and an ad hoc community formed. From relatively obscure writers like me to established writers working in all kinds of genres. We communed and bitched and celebrated any victories, gave each other advice, and read on zoom at times. Finally this week, the memoirist Meredith O’Brien (Uncomfortably Numb) organized a reading at Tatnuck Books outside Boston, and a few of us who were in the area gathered there to read together. It was wonderful to meet everyone, and fascinating to read with a diverse group of writers who would otherwise not be programmed together. Meredith introduced us, and readers–in order–were Christina Chiu (Beauty, a novel), Leslie Gray Streeter (Black Widow, a memoir), David Daley (Unrigged, a work of political reportage), Alice Early (The Moon Always Rising, a novel), and me. My reading starts at 43:30.

Video is here.