A truly collaborative piece, “Courting the Peculiar: The Ever-Changing Queerness of Creative Nonfiction,” began as a co-written conference proposal for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) National Convention in Seattle, Washington, February 2013: What do we mean when we claim that creative nonfiction is a queer genre?
It’s an enjoyably tricksy, postmodern novel in which Daniel Quinn, a detective-story writer, becomes a freelance investigator after answering a mysterious telephone call, in which a guy called Peter Stillman asks to speak to a private detective named Paul Auster (yes, I did say tricksy).
As Quinn becomes embroiled in a plot that resembles a hall of mirrors, he meets Stillman, then Stillman’s The narrative here follows the twists and turns of the original novel, with much of the storytelling taking the form of a voiceover.
Despite Stillman’s religious illusions, we are — argues Auster — alone in the universe, with no God and no Father Christmas.
This perception is the emotional fuel behind the novel, and Macmillan transposes it brilliantly to the stage.