Saint Sebastian's Abyss (Paperback)

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Saint Sebastian's Abyss By Mark Haber Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Something about the deadpan confidence of Haber's work has the power to convince me that imaginary paintings are real, conjured writers have walked the Earth, and the sky is purple and filled with green clouds. We're all gullible neophytes before Mark Haber's breathless novels. Saint Sebastian's Abyss is one of the first of its kind by an American writer, a sleek novel about Renaissance art, rivalry between friends and devotees, and the meaning of the obsessions that orbit our careers. There's not a single sentence in this book that isn't ecstatic.

— From Spencer R.

May 2022 Indie Next List


“Quietly hilarious, this slim novel encapsulates the absurdity of academia and honors the impact art has on our lives. From compulsive phrases to the judicious reveal of what imploded a friendship, Haber has crafted a marvelous book.”
— Madeline Hausmann, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Description


"What I wanted more than anything was to be standing beside Schmidt, in concert with Schmidt, at the foot of Saint Sebastian's Abyss along with Schmidt, hands cupped to the sides of our faces, debating art, transcendence, and the glory of the apocalypse."

Former best friends who built their careers writing about a single work of art meet after a decades-long falling-out. One of them, called to the other's deathbed for unknown reasons by a "relatively short" nine-page email, spends his flight to Berlin reflecting on Dutch Renaissance painter Count Hugo Beckenbauer and his masterpiece, Saint Sebastian's Abyss, the work that established both men as important art critics and also destroyed their relationship. A darkly comic meditation on art, obsession, and the enigmatic power of friendship, Saint Sebastian's Abyss stalks the museum halls of Europe, feverishly seeking salvation, annihilation, and the meaning of belief.

About the Author


Mark Haber is the author of the 2008 story collection Deathbed Conversions and the novel Reinhardt's Garden, longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award. He is the operations manager at Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas. His nonfiction has appeared in the Rumpus, Music & Literature, and LitHub. His fiction has appeared in Southwest Review and Air/Light.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781566896368
ISBN-10: 1566896363
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 160
Language: English