At Entertainment Weekly, Daniel Handler (yes, aka Lemony Snicket) names Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at A Life* (Tarpaulin Sky, 2007) to his "Top Ten (short!) Underrated Books."
At The Paris Review, Nicole Rudick interviews TSky Press author Danielle Dutton (Attempts at a Life) about her fabulous press, Dorothy, a publishing project, along with topics ranging from crossover readerships (you know, poets who deign read fiction, and vice versa), artist Yelena Bryksenkova, book design, and the real Aunt Dorothy....
With hidden noise reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press): "An argument could be made that these pieces are prose poetry, but there’s an emphasis on narrative that isn’t usually stressed so much in prose poetry. But like prose poetry (I’m thinking of Mallarmé), this is a firmly written language: they couldn’t really exist in spoken form, because they have to exist on the page...."
At aufgabe, Brian Whitener reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007): "A fascinating debut, one that signals a writer whose work is worth following.... Neither Acker or Barthelme, rather these pieces inhabit their sources, and, in opening them up, chart a narrative territory triangulated between New Narrative, prose poetry, and the postmodern novel.... Dutton does not subsume difference, she multiplies it, turning it weird, wonderful."
At Octopus Magazine, Adam Peterson reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007): "By straining out the Victorian niceties and putting the words, retold, into Eyre’s mouth makes the visceral body immediate, and love seems to have put the characters, if not their ribs, at risk for a pain different than that for which they are destined. When the separation comes sentences rather than chapters later, the effect is complete and devastating."
At Coldfront, Jason Schneiderman "struggles" to review Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press): "I would want to claim these pieces firmly as prose poems—in large part because of the way that poetry has become the big tent where everything that doesn’t fit somewhere else is welcome.... Dutton is certainly at home in a theoretical universe—one could discuss many of these poems—and quite profitably, I think—in terms of contemporary literary theory. However, Dutton’s work is incredibly inviting—she’s able to inhabit the insights of theory and then perform them without having to get bogged down in the sort of jargon or explanation that might deter the general reader (whoever you are). Dutton’s work is “accessible” in the best way possible. She’s working at a remarkably high level of insight while still inviting you to enjoy yourself."
At Rain Taxi, Peter Connors reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007): "In section after section in Attempts at a Life, Danielle Dutton executes expert, miniscule language slips that make us slide down the surface of her narratives like raindrops streaking the windows of the last un-gentrified house in an old Victorian neighborhood.... It most certainly introduces an important new literary voice."
At dogmatika, Kristina Marie Darling reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007): "In her debut collection, Attempts at a Life, Danielle Dutton combines floral umbrellas with strange dreams, the English countryside, and Virginia Woolf.... Written in a lyrical style that borders on the poetic, the works in Attempts at a Life question such literary conventions, frequently manipulating reader's expectations while at the same time scrutinizing them.... Attempts at a Life is a compelling, enigmatic read. Ideal for readers of the fiction and the literary essay alike, Danielle Dutton's new book is a significant contribution to contemporary experimental writing. Five stars."
In The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Kate Zambreno reviews Danielle Dutton's *Attempts at a Life*: "The stories often read like curious abstract puzzles, and one should resist running to the bookshelves to attempt to break the code. The best pieces call to mind that of Gertrude Stein or Diane Williams, both obvious influences on Dutton whose lines she also pastiches, with a voice that comes off as refreshingly eccentric, as in the title story, a collection of nine fragmented first-person biographies. She also reimagines the lives of famous heroines from literature, from Hester Prynne to Virginia Woolf’s Mary Carmichael in A Room of One’s Own to Alice James to Madame Bovary. Her glorious version of Jane Eyre reads like one of The Guardian’s congested reads as reimagined by Gertrude Stein or Jane Bowles."