Samuel Beckett Is Closed makes us experience simultaneously several narratives deployed in subtle counterpoint. These varied voices show the relevance of Beckett’s oeuvre in a world dominated by exploitation, torture, state violence and unbridled capitalism.” —Jean-Michel Rabaté, American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania; author of Think, Pig! Beckett at the Limit of the Human

“By breaking rules of genre and narrative, by embracing experimental form, Coffey’s work raises questions about how contemporary artists might work to resist the status quo through a subversive, fragmentary style that makes it impossible for us to look away from our political reality. Now, more than ever, we have much to learn from Beckett.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“In his new book—part memoir, part criticism, and part poetry—Michael Coffey deftly weaves multiple voices into a fractured but unified whole that strongly resonates with the digital age. Highly addictive, fiercely challenging, and lusciously readable—if you ever wondered what Beckett might sound like in the twenty-first century, this is it.” —Kenneth Goldsmith, author of FidgetDayCapital, and Wasting Time on the Internet

About the book

A baseball game. Officially sanctioned torture. A chance encounter at a bar. A conversation between a parent and child. News reports of terrorist attacks.

These—plus a meditation on the transformative power of the undying work of Samuel Beckett—make up the interwoven strands of this short work by poet and critic Michael Coffey. Written according to a sequence laid out by Beckett in his notes to the unpublished “Long Observation of the Ray,” of which only six manuscript pages exist, this rhythm of themes and genres comprises a complex, mesmerizing work of fiction that has its roots in reality.

208 pages • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-944869-59-5 • E-book 978-1-944869-54-0

About the author

Michael Coffey received his B.A. in English at the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. from Leeds University in Anglo-Irish Literature. Former co-editorial director at Publishers Weekly, he has published three books of poems, a collection of short stories, a book about baseball’s perfect games, and co-edited a book about Irish immigration to America.


After a hiatus of many years, Evergreen was re-launched on-line in 1998, and then again in 2017. Now under the leadership of publisher John Oakes and editor-in-chief Dale Peck, the new Evergreen builds on Rosset’s legacy of searching out the stories that aren’t being told or aren’t being heard: stories that challenge our sensibilities and expand our understanding of the way people actually live in the world, and the way their truths can be expressed. Available free of charge in an online-only format, the magazine will feature fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from an international array of new and established writers. Additionally, new editions of Foxrock Books, the book publishing arm of The Evergreen Review, are being released on a periodic basis; the first two titles available in the series are Samuel Beckett’s Stirrings Still and Marguerite Duras’ The Man Sitting in the Corridor.

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