“Michael Joyce is a subliminal explorer--he sets off to explore mental regions that are generally neglected, as if they were forests or deserted islands. These absolutely original tales are at once idiomatic and unclassifiable. Slow, listless, yet incredibly speedy. Ripples allude to the deepest depths. This is the secret of great poetical writing.” • Hélène Cixous, from the Afterword to Moral Tales and Meditations, 2001

 

"Then there is the possibility outlined by Michael Joyce, hypertexts which are unlimited and infinite, a sort of jazz-like unending story." • Umberto Eco, "Afterword" in The Future of the Book, 1996.

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"[These] poems offer linguistically ingenious glimpses into a raw and epic love story that has only gained momentum with proximity… Each poem traces one or more aspects of this interconnected dyad and captures this love story’s heightening depth and complexity over time…While whimsically risqué in places, it’s the redefinition of the erotic through transcendence of raw physicality that gets to you… Capricorn, Venus Descendant displays Joyce’s finest attributes—eros, erudition, jocularity, insight, and ingenuity."  •Heavy Feather Review

 

"Michael Joyce is often referred to as the father or grandfather of hyper-fiction, and is an important figure in the world of hypertext. Writers such as Umberto Eco and Robert Coover have touted his genius for years. A Hagiography of Heaven and Vicinity is Michael Joyce at his most linear and intellectual. In this collection of prose poems and poetry, he is at times as intellectually rigorous and theologically inquisitive as T. S. Eliot, and yet his work reads as contemporary as anyone writing now." •Rain Taxi

                                

"We have seen metaphysical angst dramatized with terrifying intensity in writers like Kafka and Beckett. But I have never in any other work seen that anguish expressed in so many forms and with such powerful insistence. It's the essence of Remedia: A Picaresque.” •Dactyl Review

 “[T]he picaresque is strategically used as a kind of deliberately anachronistic formal device, as surely Michael Joyce is doing in Remedia: A Picaresque... Joyce, in deemphasizing the ostensible hero's deeds, uses the character's processing of his often random experiences to create a picaresque narrative that reflects the protagonist's peripatetic life, but at the same time proceeds forward by following along the narrator's channel of thought -- almost as if the portals he so frequently glimpses are the hyperlinks of consciousness.” •Full Stop

Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden is a masterful work of introspective beauty. Its layers of meaning cascade across its pages in recursive waves of polysemous speech. The text is at once concerned with the emotional truth of its characters' experiences and with the lived truth of Foucault's philosophy. Joyce achieves all of this with a deft hand, a multilingual pen, and an ear for what we mean when we speak and how we speak when we mean.” •The Public

 

"Oscillation is a key component of the novel's structure and, in a larger sense, is related to states of absence and presence, linguistic or otherwise... [and] absence looms large in Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden [which] manages to interweave intimate details of passionate relationships with kernels of Foucault's thought..." •American Book Review

 

"An emotional, transportive novel that recalls a time of literary passion. It is a work that begs to be read aloud, regardless of its challenging polylinguality; to be heard, felt and absorbed...Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden floats between ideas and language, madness and civilization, and, in the process, finds emotional gravity." •New Orleans Review

 

“What seemed to be letters on the surface are actually blocks of sentences turning into music. Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden is an opera in three languages: Swedish, English, and French. The Swedish appears like a doorstop to remind us where we are. English sentences abruptly burst into French. ... It's glossolalia. It's an opera waiting to be performed. The novel is smart, and beautiful [and] keeps a certain kind of intelligence alive on the market."  •Public Books

"Sometimes it feels as though we are overhearing [an] internal monologue, addressing himself; at others the protagonist is elided entirely, and movement is achieved in the space between one perception and the next... Such techniques bring to mind Alain Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy (1957), a book that Twentieth Century Man recalls in other ways as well.” •American Book Review

 

Going the Distance belongs on any list of upper-echelon baseball novels...The story is realistic, and familiar without becoming hackneyed...not a breezy confection, but a dense, engaging, and poetic psychological journey. Flynn struggles to find meaning and understanding, and Joyce expertly draws the reader into that struggle...And the baseball is simply spot-on.”  •Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine [Finalist for the 2013 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book]

 Joyce certainly knows his magic baseball fiction— he plays on such expectations. But if he knows his Malamud and his Kinsella, he knows his Faulkner far better. Rather than the clichés of magic realism, we get a dense, deliberately conceived excavation into a wounded man executed in a supple, lyric prose line in which everyday objects lift effortlessly into the symbolic, a tale of a terrified man who finds himself at a crossroad, compelled finally in the dark woods of midlife to grapple with his past. [Going the Distance] is a deftly executed reconstruction of the emotional life— nonlinear and fragmentary, yes, but subtly coaxed into a satisfying portrait of a fascinating character, a man-child who happens to be an athlete, trapped, as we all are, in the heartbreaking impermanence of is. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

“Intriguing and a bit surreal, Going the Distance explores hidden elements of the human mind and introduces the curious to a cast of eccentric characters. … His messages are like hidden spices in an unusual dish. This latest novel of his will delight not only fans of baseball but also fans of the great American love story.”  •ForeWord Reviews

 

"Going the Distance occupies a strange place within Joyce’s career as a whole: in some ways it is an early, pre-hypertext work; in another way it is typical of how his career has moved back and forth between print and other media. Joyce’s career as a whole has demonstrated a fascinating ability to move between traditional storytelling and writing that is challenging at the sentence level. Liam’s Going and most of Moral Tales and Meditations are examples of the former, while Was … is a clear example of the latter. • ebr (Electronic Book Review)

Disappearance "swirls, drifts, reverses, pauses, and finally ends with what might best be described as a double turn of the screw.... And the shade of Kafka fills the place with a distinctive malaise... To be is to be porous, fluid, and incarnated in multiple versions of oneself and others." •American Book Review

 

"Joyce creates a protagonist who in Disappearance… takes on the poignancy and emotional resonance of a modern day Quixote; his tragic real life experience transformed by the Arthurian myths that spill over into his perceptions of the world around him." •Los Angeles Review of Books

 

"Was: Annales Nomadiques title is not necessarily disingenuous, it's just that something else is going on here, something that arises from rampant polyglottism and a disjunctive language that coheres only in what Joyce would call the "flow of remembered time.” ….Ultimately what resides in Joyce's Was are meditations - residual as they may be - on the foreign and the familiar and, more specifically, how the relationship between them is recast in network culture.” • ebr (Electronic Book Review)

 

“This glorious mash-up of references, found texts, allusions, mixed voices—plus characters, situations, travels, and travails—in Was: Annales Nomadique operate, as Hélène Cixous says …’[a]s if writing were recording the sparks that fly as different states of consciousness strike against each other. And the reading in turn is set ablaze.’ Our vast networks of information and exchange constitute the flint against which these consciousnesses strike.” •American Book Review

 

"Constructed much like a poem, this novel's lines of dialogue, details, and descriptive phrases appear and reappear to revelatory effect; its narrative jumps between present, past, and beyond convince us that the present is only a thin netting tossed over the past. ...The musical language of Liam's Going is at times as gorgeous as Cheever or early Updike..."  •Publishers Weekly

Liam's Going "isn’t merely steeped in Hudson River Valley lore, it positively radiates with knowledge of and affection for the area... Characters relate fascinating nuggets of local history, particularly from the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century days of Dutch trading on the river up to the Revolutionary War,... In addition to being an eloquent meditation on memory and passion, the book is a sort of poets’ guide to the area between Peeksill and Albany." •ForeWord Reviews

 

“Patterns of thought drive this text, and the stories that do unfold …are encased in the consciousness; they are memories that remain…unshared…the textual embroidery follows a delicate yet prescribed design; like the tensional currents of the river, the textual flux finds firm boundaries to either side… in Liam's Going, readers are drawn toward what is absent, left out, or missing." • ebr (Electronic Book Review

 

On the Birthday of the Stranger is both tantalizingly elaborate and honestly seductive – in both its text and its visuals.... Joyce's most impressive work to date, its inclusion here goes a long way toward (re)establishing Evergreen Review as both a vital forum for new writing and a leading venue for serious hypertext.”  •PIF Magazine

 

"Twelve Blue is a brilliant probe of the direction in which online writing must inevitably evolve." Gregory Ulmer, "A Response to Twelve Blue," Postmodern Culture, 1997

 

"Michael Joyce is one of the premier authors of hyperfiction in America… Twilight, A  Symphony, transcends the limits of narrative and reveals the burden of infinite possibility.” • Atlantic Magazine online. November 1996.

In “The War Outside IrelandMichael Joyce has written the kind of novel- full of vitality, humor, and emotion- that seems a victim of the literary marketplace in the United States... [a] depiction of the Doyles of Buffalo, a vivid Irish-American family... mad at each other and... at the corruption of the American Dream."  •The Boston Globe

...witty, moving, original, and generally beautifully written... 
The War Outside Ireland is about that bizarre code of behavior, the in-jokes, the shifting allegiances and tensions...which constitute our family." • Minneapolis Tribune

 “The War Outside Ireland is splendidly written; Michael Joyce is a stylist in the Irish tradition. Beginning with youngest brother Jimmy's swoon, and for the next unforgettable 173 pages, this novel is fantastic, joyous, and grand." • Book Club Selection List, Small Press Review, November 1982

 

"Like Laurence Sterne and Flann O'Brian, Michael Joyce moves to the heart of The War Outside Ireland via tangents. Like The Book of Kells …this novel has the ability to turn a lion's tale into a literary tale…Full circle, like Finnegans Wake, I went back to this novel to read it again. I may be cynical about things Irish, but I am no fool for a good book."  • The Review of Contemporary Fiction

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