Love Drones, Noam Dorr
Poets & Writers, "The New Nonfiction 2019"
Two Dollar Radio, August Bookclub Pick
In Love Drones, Noam Dorr explores the troubling relationship between our desire for intimacy and the world of military action, state violence, and intelligence surveillance. Born and raised on a Kibbutz in Israel, Dorr served a compulsory military term as an intelligence analyst, tapped for his skill with translation. This is reflected in the book with form-bending interwoven essays that retrace the fragments of a bomb that never explodes, grenades concealed as oranges, and drones that are simultaneously sound, insect, and lethal aircraft—essays searching for human connection within a landscape of violent conflict. It is a deeply intimate and unsettling book.
Noam Dorr's work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Seneca Review, Passages North, and other places. His essay, "Love Drones," won the Gulf Coast Essay Prize and was a notable essay in the Best American Essays 2016. Born and raised in Kibbutz Givat Haim, Israel, he is a former Fulbright scholar, and received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Dorr is currently a doctoral candidate in the Literature and Creative Writing Ph.D. program at the University of Utah and the nonfiction editor at Quarterly West.
PRAISE FOR NOAM DORR
“Between the shutter of a camera and the barrel of a rifle, essayist Noam Dorr perfectly situates us to feel with him along the edges of un-nameable hurt and hate and love, to come to realize, as he eloquently puts it, that to perceive through sight alone is to exclude the world.”
"The intensity of Noam Dorr’s prose is only matched by the intensity of his forms: both his sentences and the myriad disguises in which his essays cloak themselves burst with explosions, fissures, fractures, wanderings, and wonderings. Dorr presents a world where everything encapsulates its exact opposite; he shows us the grip of duality, how love can be an incendiary device, how eros leads to detonations, how danger and beauty feed off of each other. Love Drones is an arresting debut that grips at the ideas of identity, division, love, and the many kinds of crossing overs and losses and recoveries that bring us to where we are."
“Noam Dorr sees things others don’t and wants you to experience them in ways that others won’t. I did, and you should, too. If form’s the jam for Noam, it’s not the only jam: Love Drones has an ethical and intellectual weight and light inside it, too. What you’re holding may look like a book but it’s a goddamn hypercube.”
“Love Drones bristles with divergent forms of caring, contributing to a pleasurably unsettled settling of a book. Through a series of curated dis-assemblages, Noam Dorr foregrounds and reverses what it means to be subjects in landscapes of memory and anecdote, of taste and feeling and attention (love). Or, rather, he traps us in divisions, small threats, looming violence, and unremitting political attention (drones). Do we know home, harbor, or a sense of wonder? Or are we shaped inevitably into parts and pieces by haunted imaginations and histories of silence? I know no answers from this diamond-hard book, but I am so glad to carry its unforgettable and beautifully wrought questions.”
“Technology is the background hum of our lives, the drone we cannot escape. It purports to make our lives more efficient while rendering our most intimate interactions—war and violence, love, desire, empathy—increasingly meaningless. Dorr’s book is a subtle examination of the ways in which technology transforms our world into a kind of machine. The essays themselves are cyborgic—part poem, history, cultural criticism, war elegy, and memoir. They blend various literary genres together to create something intellectually explosive and entirely new. It’s a gorgeous and powerful book.”
"Noam Dorr made it clear that nonfiction is the place where genre definitions go to get broken."
—Nicole Walker, Essay Daily