"The book is ultimately a story of addiction intertwining with a story of memory, and how impossible they both are to understand," said Professor Mann. "It doesn't presume to be the exact representation of my brother or any particular person struggling with addiction. Different people try to reconcile hard memories different ways. And he tried very hard to understand himself. I think there is value in trying, asking questions, telling the story over and over, even if there are no answers or tidy narratives to be found."
The title, Lord Fear, comes from a poem Josh wrote, one of many pieces of his writing that appear throughout the book. Josh's words mix with others' recollections, as well as scenes that Mann remembers and imagines.
"I'm interested in nonfiction that tries to bring a lot together in one place," Mann said. "Memories, interviews with others, source texts, outside literary sources -- they all come together to influence how we understand the world."
Lord Fear continues to receive tremendous praise:
"I know when I've found a good book when it slows me down, as Lucas Mann's Lord Fear did. It's also a good sign, I find, when the book is hard to describe, as Lord Fear is. On the surface, it's a memoir about Mann's enigmatic older brother, who died of a heroin overdose when Mann was thirteen. But it's more about memory, myth-making, and desire than its plot suggests...Mann is driving at how we know that unknowable thing--taking us right up to language's edge, where we watch him peer over." --The Paris Review (Staff Pick)
""An ambitious, literary-minded memoir... In constructing his aching, poignant narrative, Mann offers a fine meditation on fate and on how 'the story of addiction is the story of memory, and how we never get it right." -- Kirkus (starred review)
"I loved this book--an artifact of the making of memory. The prose is striking and emotional, and the excavation of the dead brother, the meaning of the life cut short, will resonate with many readers. Lord Fear is a psychological and artistic juggernaut." --Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead
"Lord Fear is a hard book--as it should be, as its subject (a brother's fatal overdose) is hard; reconstructing the life and death of another is hard; families are hard; masculinity edging into misogyny is hard; addiction is hard; remembering is hard; grief is hard. Lucas Mann heads straight into these thickets armed with an uncommon emotional intelligence and the capacity to hold great mysteries, fears, horrors, and sorrows in taut, gripping sentences. This is a moving, frightening, expertly written book that stands at the nexus of imagination, encounter, document, and dirge." --Maggie Nelson, author of The Art of Cruelty
Professor Mann's first highly acclaimed book "Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere," detailing the story of minor leaguers fighting for a shot in the big leagues and the small town who roots for them, received notable praise including earning a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
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