“Weschler moves fluidly from politics to art, human rights to human wonder, tracing an elliptical path (is there any other kind?) through the density of existence, with its contradictions, confusions, coincidences and incompatibilities, all of which, he suggests, can be resolved only through narrative. [read the full review]”
– David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times
Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschler’s articles have throughout his long career intrigued readers with his unique insight into everything he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Uncanny Valley continues the page-turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writer’s block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures.
With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected” (The Globe and Mail). Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.