• by-kelman_front

Doug Nufer

Doug Nufer writes fiction and poetry based on formal constraints. In addition to By Kelman Out of Pessoa, he is the author of the novels Never Again (Black Square,...

By Kelman Out Of Pessoa

Doug Nufer

Introduction by Louis Bury
Cover art by Renée Petropoulos
Book 4 of 5, TrenchArt Recon Series
Fiction | $15.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-24-0
Size: 9.25″ X 4.25″
Pages: 194
Binding: Softcover, Perfect


In 2002, Doug Nufer wrote a story narrated by a tout, who proposed a novel way to beat the races. It was so absurd and ludicrous it gave him an idea. So Nufer went to Emerald Downs, home of thoroughbred racing in the Northwest. There, he split himself into three characters modeled on the heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa. Using a money management plan from a James Kelman short story, Nufer gave these characters money and set them free to gamble. He returned to the track every week for a full season, and his characters/heteronyms continued to bet, with real money and in the name of art. At the end of the season, he had pages of data in the form of a wagering diary, the outcome of a literary experiment that formed the basis of a literal experimental novel: By Kelman Out Of Pessoa.

By Kelman Out Of Pessoa is published as part of the TrenchArt: Recon Series, with an Introduction by Louis Bury and visual art by Renee Petropoulos. TrenchArt is an annual series of new literature, selected and edited to create a textual conversation between some of the most dynamic and exciting writing today—and tomorrow.

Praise for By Kelman Out of Pessoa

“Consider art a complex betting game in which participants—artists, critics, audiences, institutions—wager both money and reputations but must pretend, for the sake of decorum, that no bets are being placed. By Kelman suggests that our (false) modesty cannot conceal the speculative nature of the enterprise—suggests, too, that the size of the wages matters less than their import to the participants’ lives.”

–from the introduction by Louis Bury

“There are so many viewpoints here, so many puppets watching each other dance around a stage constructed from fiction and reality, that we can’t help but wonder about the man who makes them all dance. In Kelman, you get a better look at Nufer than you’ve ever had before, because the entire book carries with it an unwritten memoir of Nufer’s own experience at Emerald Downs. You want to see even more, but you can’t; the wonder of Doug Nufer is that he contains so many perspectives, you can’t look at him directly without your attention being directed somewhere else.”

–The Stranger

“A scientist whose experiments are consistently successful acquires the status of genius, and this is the proper status of experimental writer Doug Nufer.”

–Harry Mathews

Author Doug Nufer comments on By Kelman Out Of Pessoa

A review from Raintaxi

NewPages book review

A review by Spencer Dew of decomP Magazine

The Stranger reviews By Kelman Out of Pessoa

A review by The Brooklyn Rail