Evan Dara

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Evan Dara
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Genre Literary Fiction
Literary movement Postmodernism
Notable works

The Lost Scrapbook (1995)
The Easy Chain (2008)

Flee (2013)

Evan Dara is an American postmodern novelist. In 1995, his first novel, The Lost Scrapbook, won the 12th Annual FC2 Illinois State University National Fiction Competition judged by William T. Vollmann.[1] Dara's second novel, The Easy Chain, was published by Aurora Publishers in 2008. A third novel, Flee, was published by Aurora in 2013.

According to the copyright page of his second novel, The Easy Chain, Dara lives in France.


As opposed to other reclusive American writers such as J.D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, and Harper Lee, nothing is known about Dara's background or the reasons why he writes under a pseudonym. And unlike the pseudonymous Elena Ferrante, Dara has never given an interview or commented on his books. The only record of a published response from Dara was an indirect reply to a query from the critic Tom LeClair, regarding the influence of William Gaddis on his novels. Along with confirming that he uses a pseudonym, Dara denied having read either The Recognitions or J R.[2]


The first edition of The Lost Scrapbook was published in 1995 by Fiction Collective Two, or FC2, which was then based at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. The manuscript was originally brought to the publisher's attention by novelist Richard Powers, who described how he received it:

“Several kilos of transatlantic, boat-rate typescript arrived on my stoop without prior warning of contents, and I’ve been grateful ever since.  Dara shows how a novel can be experimental, yet moral, rule breaking but emotional, and post-humanist while still remaining deeply human.  This scrapbook builds in stretches until the whole police blotter cum family album lies open in aerial view.  Monumental, unforgiving, cunning and heartfelt, it lets no one off the hook, least of all the reader.”[3][4] 

The mystery surrounding Dara combined with the fact that Powers very rarely provides blurbs led some to speculate that Powers might be the man behind the nom de plume. [5] Nonetheless, despite very little press coverage and limited publicity, the book has been taught at over 25 universities and been the subject of significant scholarly inquiry.

In 2008, Dara released The Easy Chain through Aurora Publishers, a venture he founded along with another partner.[6] He followed this up with Flee, which was published by Aurora in 2013.


A Spanish translation of Dara's The Lost Scrapbook was published by Pálido Fuego in 2015, entitled El Cuaderno Perdido.[7] Estado Critico recognized it with the Best Translation Award of 2015.[8]

The translator of the novel, José Luis Amores, noted in a 2017 interview that he is at work on translations of The Easy Chain and Flee.[9]



  • Winner of 12th Annual FC2 National Fiction Competition[10]
  • Estado Critico: Best Translation Award of 2015[11]

Further reading[edit]

  • Burn, S.J. (2009) "Economies of the Self: Review of Evan Dara's The Easy Chain." American Book Review, 30(4), p. 18.[12]
  • Saladrigas, R. (2017). En tierras de ficción: Recorrido por la narrativa contemporanea, de Edgar Allan Poe a Evan Dara. Palencia (España: Menoscuarto).[13]
  • Stinson, E. (2017). Satirizing modernism: Aesthetic autonomy, romanticism, and the avant-garde. Bloomsbury Academic.[14]


  1. ^ Poets & Writers, Inc. Grants & Awards 1995 September/October 1998. Accessed September 22, 2006. Archived January 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "MIXED RECEPTIONS". Bookforum. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  3. ^ "praying for a nerve cell with all the soul of my chemical reactions and going right on down where the eye sees only traces". www.blckdgrd.com. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  4. ^ "Steve Russillo's Easy Chain page". russillosm.com. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Is Richard Powers Evan Dara?". CR. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  6. ^ "MIXED RECEPTIONS". Bookforum. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  7. ^ "El cuaderno perdido – Evan Dara | Pálido Fuego". www.palidofuego.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  8. ^ "Premios EC 2015 | Estado Crítico". www.criticoestado.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  9. ^ Downing, Jeff (2017-02-28). "El Cuaderno Perdido: An Interview with José Luis Amores". The Evan Dara Affinity. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  10. ^ THE LOST SCRAPBOOK by Evan Dara | Kirkus Reviews. 
  11. ^ "Premios EC 2015 | Estado Crítico". www.criticoestado.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  12. ^ "Economies of the Self". American Book Review. 30 (4). 
  13. ^ Tigres, Tres Tristes. "Editorial Menoscuarto | www.menoscuarto.es". www.menoscuarto.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  14. ^ Bloomsbury.com. "Satirizing Modernism". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 

External links[edit]