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Review: Your Nearness, by Forrest Gander

Edmund Prestwich, London Grip, July 2022

The first thing that struck me as a reader new to Forest Gander was his astonishing power to communicate attentiveness to the world around him. The next was how quickly attentiveness becomes something more probing.


The extremely sensitive, precise language creates volatile and complicated effects. On one level there’s an active, verb-driven sensuousness to the opening. But it’s sensuousness of an unstable, dreamlike kind. With ‘edging close’ we almost see dawn tentatively edging towards the sleepers, but what the question asks us to do is to hear dawn and hear light. Moreover, there’s an extraordinary empathetic projection into the imagined bodies of dawn and the light: edging close and gripping the bedroom wall, they seem as alive, as sensuously conscious and purposeful as any animal or person.

Read the full review here.