Afterglow by Eileen Myles


Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly began to make an indelible impact on the writer's s...

Details Afterglow

Release DateSep 12th, 2017
PublisherGrove Press
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Animals, Poetry, Dogs, Biography

Reviews Afterglow

  • Michelle
    Afterglow (a dog memoir) written by celebrity poet Eileen Myles is a heartfelt loving tribute to Rosie, her Pitbull Terrier that lived for nearly 17 years. Whether readers are familiar with Myles writing style or poetry, Myles captures a sensitive unique flair and a meaningful creative writing combination she is recognized for.Caring for an elderly incontinent dog—the endless cycle of washing and laundering is nearly impossible to keep up with....
  • Rebecca Foster
    I wish this had been published without the subtitle, or with a more cagey one (like “Notes towards a Dog Memoir” or “A Sort of Dog Memoir”). If what you want is a straightforward dog memoir, read Dog Years by Mark Doty and Ordinary Dogs by Eileen Battersby, both excellent examples of the genre. The time that Myles, known primarily as a poet and queer theorist, had with her pit bull Rosie between 1990 and 2006 is less the substance of this...
  • Cat
    I'm conflicted about this book. Parts of it just seem heartless... I've lost beloved pets through the years and my heart still aches when I really think about them. The grief just doesn't seem to be in this book for me. I don't mean to say the author didn't grieve her pet, I am sure she did (I cried for weeks after the loss of each of my pet children). I will finish the book, but just not right now.
  • Joe
    It went on, and on, and on some more, and it still hadn't ended, and then there was another few chapters - 200 pages that seemed like 2000. The only analog that comes to mind is the film Melancholia.
  • Robertha
    You see, it was this. The prose - was unreadable. I could have done with a poem like. Like, this. But not a full novela. It is. Exhausting.
  • M.
    4.5! Loved much of this, a lot. The essay on Foam as a concept/metaphor for thinking about knowledge/writing is my favorite, I think, but many of the doggo pieces are glorious and sui generis. Many adopt a style that is a kind of frothy walk / flaneur avec dog; and then there's Rosie (the dog) speaking from the dead, "ghostwriting". Myles is sometimes Jethro here, sometimes she, sometimes he, and Rosie, always, is god. Sometimes the pov rolls bac...
  • sarah corbett morgan
    I'm only half way through this memoir,! Imagine a poet writing about a dog, a beloved dog that has to be put down. Imagine the dog's perspective in all this. Innovative structure, beautiful writing; all in all a stunning work of genius. What. a. fantastic. book.Update, now that I've finished. There are riffs of gorgeous prose, a poet's ear for what is real/true. There are also places where Myles lost me completely. Her discussion of wri...
  • Leigh
    what a book. magic. never read anything like it. some sections I need to go back and spend more time with, were harder to understand. the structure and theme of story as tapestry really worked for me. well worth a second read.
  • Drew
    Although it gets a bit long in the tooth, I loved this. As a life-long dog person, about to get his own dog for the first time, it also hit me right in the sweetest of spots. Rosie seems like she was a good dog, perhaps one of the best, to inspire a work so multifaceted and silly and loving and heartfelt and weighty as this. And that Eileen Myles, she's not half-bad either.
  • Lisa
    I think a lot of the time poets' prose efforts can be so packed that they're by nature uneven—I guess you can say the same for poetry as well. That's definitely the case with this book, and honestly I get the feeling that Myles would be just fine with the idea of taking what you want and leaving the rest. Some of it is just gorgeous, lyrical, madly associative and evocative. And some of it is just too dense or esoteric for the likes of me, and ...
  • Melissa
    Eileen Myles deserves her reputation as a startling frank and forthright poet, but I found her effort here to be too haphazard to rate more than two stars. While some parts of the book offer honest and heartfelt insight into the human and animal bond, one has to wade through far too much pretentious stream of consciousness crap to fully relax into the author's voice with any regularity.Myles is most effective when she is writing directly about he...
  • Rachel Davies
    another great one
  • Sassafras Lowrey
    Eileen Myles writes about her dog? Obviously I had to read this one right away. This is a book of dogs and grief. It is a book of loss, and kinship and what happens if dogs wrote us poetry and letters. There were stories that made me (as an admittedly neurotic dog person ) uncomfortable, and stories about the end, about aging, failing bodies, and passing, that made my heart clench (while I anxiously pet my ancient canine sidekick). "Each writer i...
  • Grimdlewold
    I knew I shouldn't have attempted this book. I had to stop once he described Rosie being put to sleep. Nothing good could come from reading a sad story of a dog's death, even if in her life time she'd known happiness. This is a difficult book. Not just because of the subject matter, but because it's written as one stream of consciousness that wildly jumps around & goes off topic. A copy of this book was provided to me for free by NetGalley
  • Julie
    When have you ever read a memoir about a dead dog where heroin is even mentioned, much less held up? Or where Hitler is compared to Kurt Cobain? How about the objectification of pan-sexualunicorns on biblical tapestries? But wait, there's more....The book starts off right away with an ethereal punch, a letter from her dog's alleged legal council. It let me know straight away that this was not going to be some sappy doggie memoir. It was going to ...
  • Janet
    I love Eileen Myles and LOVED the first third of this book. Super fresh from the loss of my dearest furry friend, Rishi, her initial words were soothing and relatable:"I like to be alone. But then I need to talk to someone. I like god. When I was a child I was taught there was someone listening and I chanced tiny hellos that frequently felt empty but longer conversations often silences felt like I was sitting in an enormous radio, like I had big ...
  • Diane Payne
    I didn't realize this book was so short since the ARC was for Kindle. When I got to the end, I knew I hadn't read that rigorously, and I judged the book differently, as if it was a collection of poems, though it was an experimental poetic memoir of sort. If this was Myles' first book, her readers may not be so generous with the reviews. But, if like me, you've read more of her work, you may be more forgiving and more humored by the audacity and, ...
  • Solita
    Well, I guess this goes over my head, because for much of it, reading it, I was confused. Clarity goes in and out. For me, anyway. I'm following along, and then I'm lost. I'm like, huh? Emotionally, the most difficult part to read was "The Rape of Rosie." What a terrible thing to do. Does Myles feel remorse? Is this why she writes about it? I hated reading it, and I hate that she did this to her beloved dog. Animals aren't dumb, humans are. I did...
  • Diane
    I am an open-minded reader of many a genre, but I found Afterglow neither dog memoir, poetry, emotional—nor interesting. I know the author can write, judging from a passage like this one:“The last great thing about letter writing was cursive and it is gone. Cursive was a photograph of the nerves of the writer. So though the load of the letter was great the flying hand like a bird told the inside of the cave of the writer. It is abstracted stu...
  • Kathy
    Eileen Myles is a poet. Afterglow, like most of her other prose work, perches just on the edge of narrative, sliding frequently into the realm of poetry and metaphor. Though billed as a "Dog Memoir" it is much less straightforward than that. Myles' dog, Rosie, is the fulcrum on which this book swings, but really it explores many larger issues of death and dying, the relationship of humans with dogs, and where we all belong in this world. Afterglo...
  • Jen Hirt
    Here's my suggestions for understanding the brilliance of this book. Think of it this of Rosie on page 173, she looks like a sock puppet.Letter from Rosie....Rosie is the father...puppet for the lost fatherDogs and mailmen, a thing....mailmen bring letters"All mailmen are dogs" (pg. 193)..."A letter is like a dream of a thought" (pg. 195).postal water and foam...pit bulls as "the last fish"...Rosie's ashe...
  • Valerity *
    I went into this with a very open mind. Having finished it, I'm left with very mixed feelings. The author certainly has a wonderful way with words and her affinity for poetry is obvious throughout. I just had some trouble at times keeping up with where she was going and who she was speaking as. Perhaps it's because I'm not familiar with her writing style, but I kept finding myself lost and having to backtrack a bit to figure out what she was talk...
  • Jenny Forrester
    A progression through memory of a dog and the way dogs change and can't change us, how we're all dogs and none of us are, but we should be, how god is dog and how we're all mail carriers and how letters are caves writ inside out. Or something. It's about Rosie and puppets and writing and being better people. Or not. Or we can't be. It's great. It's sad. A lot of writers write dog memoir, and I didn't know that until I read this.
  • Aaron
    I really enjoyed about 30-40% of this book. There were a few little bits that broke format, and were really interesting, and providing a fresh perspective that were easy to get into.There were a few sections that were wicked, wicked long seas of words that were way to hard to get ahold of. I felt like the time in college I tried to read Tropic of Cancer and it was like, what the fuck is this? It was a good enough book, but I'm glad it's over.
  • Kathleen Gray
    A kaleidoscope indeed. This is quite the book. It moves in time, space, and perspective. It's not about the dog and it is about the dog. Rosie was one lucky canine to have been adopted by Myles, who loved her if not herself. I likely would not have picked this. up if I had not been granted an ARC by Netgalley. I'm glad I read it even if I found it both mystifying and frustrating. Try this for a very different sort of memoir.
  • Pearse Lenz
    Who doesn't personify their pets in some way? It was a fun read, and I like her style (simple, says a lot with few words). Kinda meandered when she started talking about gender in her speeches, but I get that it was related to her relationship with Rosie. Maybe she just needed to add some pages so it wouldn't be too short of a book to market?Would definitely recommend it for anyone who might have just lost a loved canine or feline.
  • Susan Goertz
    I'd really say 4.5 stars. This book made me laugh, cry, snort, weep, tremble, hug, all the feels. The 4.5 is because there were a few chapters where I felt like she lost me. Not that they were poorly written, but that my existential experience hasn't reached what she was speaking to, yet. I will read this book again. I love this little Rosie
  • Harry
    Probably one of the hardest books to explain to someone. Dog Memoir feels like such an oversimplification of what Myles is doing here. Somehow conversational, spiritual, narrative, pastiche, philosophical, poetic. All of it. The amount of knockout lines and sections are many. You will never look at dogs or plaid the same again.
  • Susie Dumond
    Well, this one just didn't connect with me. There were moments that I was really with her and moved by where she was headed, but then almost immediately she would lose me again. The prose and structure were more jolting than gripping. While I appreciated some of the moments on grief, loss, and meaning.... Sorry, it's a no from me, dog.Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.