By Gordon Lish
Publication Date: 03/05/2013
Arguably Gordon Lish's masterpiece, Peru begins with its narrator announcing, "There is nothing which I will not tell you if I can think of it." Gradually, the story of a dark childhood secret-real or imagined-unfolds: in 1940, six-year-old Gordon murdered his harelipped rival, Steven Adinoff, in a Long Island sandbox... (unless he didn't). Peru's narrator weaves together strands of disconnected, mesmerizing trivia, resurrecting memories of the mundane suburban childhood that spawned a killing: the sense of tedium on an endless summer day; the squishy sounds of a hoe digging into flesh. Ambiguous, complex, inventive, and subversively comic, Peru is a compendium of unnerving observations about memory, violence, obsession, and the potential horror behind the facade of an ordinary life.