The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart
The idea of an “autobiography” authored by someone other than its subject might have a familiar ring to it, and that’s deliberate; the book is conceived as a tribute to and re-appropriation of Gertrude Stein’s own project of loving ventriloquism, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Noterdaeme, a conceptual artist, borrows the structure and even some of the sentences of Stein’s book to write as his own longtime lover, a cook and cabaret star named Daniel Isengart.
We loved how this book, which revels in gossipy detail about the queer art and performance scene in 80s and 90s NYC, connected dots between past Emily Books like Inferno by Eileen Myles and No More Nice Girls and our more contemporary picks like Imogen Binnie’s Nevada. And we loved how inventively Noterdaeme has crafted a love letter to Isengart, New York City, and himself.