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What is the role of art in the world? And what is the responsibility of the artist? After the death of his wife, Michael Benchere, a well-respected sculptor and once-famous architect, looks for ways to redefine the meaning of his life through the purpose of his art. Determined to create a sculpture that celebrates nothing more than the pure beauty of art, Benchere heads into the Kalahari desert where he is followed quite unexpectedly by a ragtag mix of people. Over the course of his months in the desert, Benchere must address not only the relationship of his art to the world at large, but his own relationship to the world and how our responsibilities, our loves and dreams don’t ever fade in time but, in effect, become evermore defined.
Steven Gillis is the author of the novels Walter Falls, The Weight of Nothing, Temporary People, and The Consequence of Skating, along with Benchere in Wonderland (Hawthorne Books, 2015) as well as the short story collections Giraffes and The Law of Strings. A three-year member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Board of Directors, and a finalist for the 2007 Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year, Steve taught writing at Eastern Michigan University before founding 826michigan in 2004. Steve is now the co-founder and publisher of Dzanc Books.