Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus's Run, Atet A.D.
From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Volumes 1-3 collects the first three installments—Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus's Run, and Atet A.D.—of Nathaniel Mackey's genre-defying work of fiction. A project that began over thirty years ago, From a Broken Bottle is an epistolary novel that unfolds through N.'s intricate letters to the mysterious Angel of Dust. Unexpected, profound happenings take place as N. delves into music and art and the goings-on of his transmorphic Los Angeles-based jazz ensemble, in which he is a composer and instrumentalist. This triple-set book opens in July 1978 with a dream of a haunting Archie Shepp solo, and closes in September 1982 in a parallactic studio recording session on a glass-bottomed boat borne aloft by the music. The fourth volume of Mackey's novel, Bass Cathedral—also available from New Directions—was chosen by The New York Times as one of 100 Notable Books of 2008. But that it didn't end there?