Sean Kim: The Last Book I Loved, Last Evenings on Earth


images-41It used to be that exile was unique to small, tight knit immigrant communities, but now I know it’s just a condition of living in the world.  Roberto Bolano proves it.  For him, exile is a life lived in existential crisis, only the feeling isn’t so much desperation as it is an endless, numbing ennui.  Loneliness, boredom, an eerie sense of impending violence; one flies to Paris via Buenos Aires in the same banal fog as one walks across the street to a neighbor’s.  You meet people who wonder at their situations as revolutionaries, as writers, daughters, travelers, each attempting to make some kind of connection that, in the end, disintegrates into a fine dust.  This collection is perfect, not one story falters, though some do stand apart, like “Sensini,” “Anne Moore’s Story,” “Last Evenings on Earth.”  Each one unfolds as a series of consecutive events that could be random or fated, or both; and every one of them is sad.

Sean Kim is a writer and painter living in San Francisco. He teaches English at City College of San Francisco and has had stories published in Faultline, Dark Horses, and WordRiot. More from this author →