Dennis Must’s MACLEISH SQ. reviewed in California Review of Books!

As with many of Dennis Must’s other fictions, consisting of three novels and three short story collections, MacLeish Sq. is a tale about personal identity.  Who are we, and how do we come to know the nature of our being in this world?  In this most recent novel, what the imagination seizes just might be true, or if not absolutely true, at least one valid means of coming to know ourselves, perhaps much more so than through reason or ratiocination.  But literature as storytelling is a second means. In this novel, the principal literature is that of the nineteenth-century American Romantic era, of Hawthorne and Melville, but add to that drafts of unpublished stories preserved in old notebooks as well. What do these stories tell us about our own lives and who we are? What is real?  MacLeish Sq. is a highly imaginative novel, stylistically brilliant, which contrasts the real with the irreal, the latter being the most compelling—and the most transformative.