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Long, Dustin 1977-

Long, Dustin 1977-

PERSONAL:

Born 1977; married. Education: Graduated from University of California, Berkeley, 1999.

CAREER:

Writer. Has also worked in construction and at a used bookstore.

WRITINGS:

Icelander (novel), McSweeney (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Dustin Long is the author of the bestselling novel Icelander, "a debut work crammed with metatextual trickery, references to everything from Nabokov to Pynchon to Scandinavian mythology, and thickly ironic humor—a literary-gamesmanship machine kicked into overdrive," observed a critic in Kirkus Reviews. Using multiple narrators and an assortment of footnotes, Icelander follows the exploits of Our Heroine, a professor at New Crúiskeen University and the daughter of noted anthropologist and criminologist Emily Bean-Ymirson. When Our Heroine learns that family friend Shirley MacGuffin has died under mysterious circumstances just before Bean Day, a celebration of Emily's legacy, she feels compelled to investigate the case. Her efforts are complicated by, among others, a rogue librarian, a missing dachshund, and a pair of "philosophical investigators." "Admittedly, this sort of thing isn't for everyone—the very mention of a novel with footnotes has by now become enough to repel many readers," wrote Laura Miller on Salon.com. "But the charm of Icelander lies in its refusal to take itself too seriously." Miller added, Long "never forgets that playing is exactly what all this is, and so he avoids the tedious solemnity with which so many metafictionists attempt to demonstrate their impishness." Though some critics faulted the novel for its frequent narrative shifts, Icelander received generally strong reviews. A contributor in Publishers Weekly called the work a "manic Chinese box version of a mystery," and Montreal Mirror critic Juliet Waters stated that "for quirky minds cluttered with more literary trivia than is probably good for them, Icelander is like the poetic version of a good bender."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2006, Allison Block, review of Icelander, p. 35.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of Icelander, p. 316.

Montreal Mirror, Juliet Waters, November 9-15, 2006, "Dribble of the Gods," review of Icelander.

Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2006, review of Icelander, p. 46.

ONLINE

Notes of a Defeatist,http://www.notesofadefeatist.com/ (August 31, 2006), "Dustin Long Interview."

Salon.com,http://www.salon.com (August 11, 2006), Laura Miller, review of Icelander.

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