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Telémachus, archetype of the boy left behind, is portrayed in this novel by Bobby Bacca, whose father, M.M.Bacca, the famous poet, has died. Bobby, an artist who has gone in search of his father's past, revisits the Bacca legend through stories told by those who knew him best, while his own memories intersect with the effects of trauma pervading the adult lives of his contemporaries. This "sidebar of an odyssey" modernizes the abandonment and allure for might that 20th-century French philosopher Simone Weil takes as her foundation for declaring Homer the first and greatest pacifist poet. Though Mac Bacca is no hero, nor is he a Leopold Bloom, his aberrant and twisted personality takes us on a ride over some strange country along the neglected yet familiar path of the male soul.
Michael Daley is the author of a book of essays, Way Out There (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2007), and several books of poems and translations. His most recent collection of poems is Reinhabited: New & Selected Poems (2022). He is a retired teacher, and the publisher of Empty Bowl.