On this episode of The Lit Show, Geoff Dyer discusses his latest book, Zona — a critical and personal exploration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic 1979 film Stalker – and places it in the context of his large and wide-ranging body of work.
Dyer is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, essay, and criticism. His recent collection of essays, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, was published in the U.S. in April 2011 and won the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for Criticism. His novels include Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; Paris Trance; The Search; and The Color of Memory; but he is perhaps even better known for his formally innovative investigations into jazz (But Beautiful), photography (The Ongoing Moment), war and memory (The Missing of the Somme), travel (Yoga for People who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It), and literary obsession (Out of Sheer Rage).
Writing in The New Republic, David Thomson describes Zona as “the most stimulating book on a film in years,” and The New York Times calls Dyer’s analysis “acute and sometimes brilliant.”
He is a frequent contributor to The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and many other publications, was the guest director at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, and is currently a visiting professor of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. He was born in Cheltenham, England, educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and lives in London.
Interview by Ben Mauk.