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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Movieola! by John Domini

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Movieola! by John Domini

Domini - Movieola! - Final Cover.jpg
Domini - Movieola! - Final Cover.jpg

Movieola! by John Domini


Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938103-90-2

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A collection of linked short stories that delights in and exploits the language and paraphernalia of industrial Hollywood.

The collection delves into a night at the movies, featuring all the familiar types—the rom-com, the action-adventure, the superhero, and the spy—but the narratives are still under construction, and every storyline is an opportunity for the unimaginable twist. Motive and identity are constantly shifting in these short stories that offer both narrative and anti-narrative, while the stunted shop-talk of the movie business struggles to keep up.

With the wit of Steve Erickson’s Zeroville and the inventive spirit of Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, John Domini offers a collection at once comical and moving, care- fully suspended between a game of language and a celebration of American film. 

Praise for “Movieola!”

“A new shriek for a new century… an amplification of Nathaniel West." — The Millions 

“Thoroughly entertaining.” — Vanity Fair 

“A book to devour." — BBC Culture

Listed in Chicago Tribune as “One of 30 Books to Read,” Summer, 2016

“Feverishly exuberant… highly visual and incredibly verbal.” — The Rumpus 

“The prose recalls Nabokov..., the words at times tap dancing and somersaulting.” — The Nervous Breakdown

“A bravura performance from a writer producing his best work.”— Brooklyn Rail 

"Movieola! is a glory -- smart, cutting and funny.” — Sam Lipsyte

"A remarkable, droll meditation on film;… and on how all great works of art either invent a genre or dissolve one.” — David Shields 

“Reading Domini is always the smartest kind of fun – everyone who loves movies will love this book.”— Amber Sparks

"What Domini sneaks into the theater under his jacket, however, is a slyly disruptive deployment of the language of Hollywood insiderdom and wannabe insiderdom — the parody is unstinting, but the souls of the characters are never neglected.” — Christopher Sorrentino 

“If you've had it with the movies, John Domini in MOVIEOLA! will tell you, friskily, why.” — Padgett Powell 

Praise for John Domini’s fiction

“John Domini is a writer of the world.” — Steve Erickson 

“A rich feast, full of sparkling observation, wit, real mystery, characters we believe.” — Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize, on Earthquake I.D. 

“Both cutting-edge innovative and splendidly readable. This book is a flat-out delight.” — Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize, on Talking Heads: 77 

"Streetwise and pain-acquainted, Domini's new story-collection is a good rich read indeed.” — John Barth, on Highway Trade 

“Domini’s tales… warble with incantations, lamentations, orations; they sparkle with craftsmanship.” — Richard Price, on Bedlam


About the author

With Movieola!, John Domini has three stories collections and three novels in print. Other books include selections of criticism and poetry. He’s published fiction in Paris Review and Ploughshares, non-fiction in GQ and the New York Times, and won a poetry prize from Meridian. Grants include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The New York Times praised his work as "dreamlike... grabs hold of both reader and character," and Alan Cheuse, of NPR, described it as "witty and biting." He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern and elsewhere and makes his home in Des Moines.