See What I See: Essays and Especially the Bad Things: Stories


See What I See, a book of essays and: Especially the Bad Things, a book of stories. 

Interview with Daniel Davis Wood at Splice

The Feelish Bookish Podcast (Robert Fay and Roman Tsivkin) had me as a guest

Storgy Magazine reviews Especially the Bad Things

Praise for See What I See:

See What I See is the very brew needed in these parched times. Greg Gerke’s generous, thoughtful reflections on the beguiling experience of art are full of uplift and reverence for the illuming efforts of writers and filmmakers: Louise Glück, William Gass, and William Gaddis, Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson, to name but a few.  And he does not stint intimate experience, the riches of the examined life, and the possibility of “engaging with the work and then each other.”  Take up this wonderful book and, “drink and be whole again beyond confusion.”  

-Christine Schutt, author of Pure Hollywood  

Greg Gerke is an essayist after my own heart.  He’s smart, he’s sensitive, and he’s strange.  He knows literature, film and enough about his own catastrophic psyche to make him a reliable witness and commentator.  Plus, his sentences are graceful and precise. 

– Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body

Greg Gerke’s taste is excellent. His knowledge of the creative masters he lovingly observes and reflects on is broad and deep. His judgment is well-grounded and precise. The best thing, though, about his brilliant, quirky book of essays “See What I See” is understanding what living with great art is like for someone who can’t live without it. — Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer-Prize winner for 3 Sections 

This beguiling collection of belletristic essays puts into practice William H. Gass’s belief that “Works of art are meant to be lived with and loved.” In prose as beautiful and imagistic as Gass’s, Gerke recounts how he has lived with and loved certain authors—Gass, Gaddis, Stevens, Stein, Naipaul, and others—and with some auteur directors. See What I See paints a portrait of a “man of letters” in the old sense of the term, someone for whom literature is a way of life, not an academic profession, and I can’t recommend this highly enough.

—Steven Moore, author of The Novel: An Alternative History

Greg Gerke’s See What I See is “enlivened by ruin.” James, Rilke, and Stevens. Gass and Gaddis. Eric Rohmer. These are the shards that he shores against this ruin. Gerke is one of the faithful remnant, loyal to the riches, pleasures, and freedoms of art. See What I See is the fittest subversion of the moralizing present: it revels in its own shrewd gorgeousity.
                                   —Curtis White, author of The Middle Mind: Why
                                        Americans Don’t Think for Themselves

Praise for Especially the Bad Things:

“Greg Gerke is a short form wizard; dark, funny and seriously sly. His book will deliver you to new strange thought and feeling.”

-Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask

“In this remarkable series of ruefully funny and insightful bursts, Greg Gerke manages to reorder the mundanity of alienation into something urgent and vital.”

-Sergio De La Pava, author of A Naked Singularity

“If you put Lydia Davis, Etgar Keret and Philip Roth’s Portnoy in a blender you might  get Greg Gerke’s quirkily neurotic, hilariously honest voice in “My Brooklyn Writer Friend.” All the writing about writing probably won’t play in Peoria, but  luckily he lives in Brooklyn,  believes in truth in advertising  and his very short stories are weird and wildly engaging. “
– Susan Shapiro, author of Lighting Up and What’s Never Said

“How is it that Greg Gerke’s short fiction collection makes dislocation, miscommunication, and the anxious knots of the mind seem absolutely worthwhile and even kind of fun? Friends, sort-of-friends, lovers and sort-of-lovers tangle with the loneliness of being apart/together. Get prepared for a writer who wonderfully navigates bumbling, ordinary life with smart, sharp writing and a big dose of compassion.”

– Victoria Redel, author of Make Me Do Things

“These swift, swervy, nervous fictions–as often as not about writers in antic crisis with the language, lovers in trouble with their loves–are heartachingly hilarious and stocked from margin to margin with agony-born brilliances fresh and revitalizing. Greg Gerke’s endearingly self-questioning narrators worry their doubts into a make-do grace that leaves a reader sweetened too.

– Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way

“A Duchampian travelogue about the nature of how we read and construct the stories, MY BROOKLYN WRITER FRIEND, is as compelling as entertaining.  The six interlocking sections present comedic aspects of the American landscape we take for granted, and at the same time challenge our received ideas about the places we visit. As quickly as the writers in the book build the scaffolding of their ideas, others endeavor to shift the architecture.  The result is a series of brilliant roller coaster rides that demand to be revisited many times over. “

– Susan Daitch, author of Paper Conspiracies

“Greg Gerke writes like an anthropologist of love, or like a
Brooklyn-based Sigmund Freud, walking down a mobius boulevard, finding the truth as it flowers in the cracks of the sidewalk. Honest, deadpan, personal and smart, these stories conspire, like a dream, to create a world both uncanny and familiar, delirious and quotidian, funny and sad and completely mesmerizing.”

– John Haskell, author of I am Not Jackson Pollock and American Purgatorio

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