As a Friend, New Directions

Listed as one of the 15 Best Books of nearly 3,000 reviewed in the last few years by the Review of Literature, Philosophy & the Humanities

“Heroism is a secondary virtue,” Albert Camus noted, “but friendship is primary.”  In his gemlike first novel, Forrest Gander writes of friendship, envy, and eros as a harmonic of charged overtones.  Set in a rural southern landscape so vivid, it is equal to the indelible characters, As a Friend tells the story of a gifted man, a land surveyor whose impact on those around him provokes intense self-examination and an atmosphere of dangerous eroticism. With poetic insight, Gander explores the nature of attraction, betrayal, and loyalty.  What he achieves is brilliant in style and powerfully unsettling.

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Isola di Rifiuti by John Latta
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Review of Literature, Philosophy & the Humanities
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So Many Books
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The Best of Ralph: Hits from the First Half of 2009

To read reviews of the French, German, Bulgarian or Spanish editions, see "Forrest Gander in Translation"

"Profound, relentlessly beautiful, this exceptional book catches fire again and again. One runs with it as across a bed of coals, unable to look away, unable to stop for an instant even to take a breath. Breathtaking, yes, and unceasingly blazing."
--Rikki Ducornet

"As a Friend is a moving elegy. It is also beautiful proof that language has magical potential. In the hands of the lyrical, insightful Forrest Gander, words express unspeakable secrets, they trace hidden connections between friends and lovers, and they make us aware of the expansive power of the imagination."
--Joanna Scott