March 6, 2012

Lars Iyer’s Spurious short-listed for the Believer Book Award


“Each year, the editors of the Believer generate a short list of the novels and story collections they thought were the strongest and most underappreciated of the year,” and this time around they have selected a Melville House book: Lars Iyer’s Spurious. The timing is wonderful, especially with Iyer’s newest, Dogma, a sequel to Spurious, just out and getting great reviews all over.

According to the Believer citation, Spurious is

Suffused with bleak, terminal laughter that will be familiar to admirers of Bernhard and Beckett… the pleasures of Lars Iyer’s first novel lie in its professorial heroes’ deep awareness of their own failures—in particular their inability to think, say, or do anything of any value whatsoever. (They also drink too much.) As Casey Walker wrote in his review in this magazine, the pair is like “Vladimir and Estragon, if Vladimir were the most withering member of Estragon’s tenure committee.”

The full list of nominees is posted here. The winner will be announced in the next issue of the Believer.


Kelly Burdick is the former executive editor of Melville House.