Arguably Gordon Lish’s masterpiece, Peru begins with its narrator announcing,
“There is nothing which I will not tell you if I can think of it.” Gradually, the story of a dark childhood secret—real or imagined—unfolds: in 1940, six-year-old Gordon murdered his harelipped rival, Steven Adinoff, in a Long Island sandbox . . . (unless he didn’t). Peru‘s narrator weaves together strands of disconnected, mesmerizing trivia, resurrecting memories of the mundane suburban childhood that inspired a killing: the sense of tedium on an endless summer day, the squishy sounds of a hoe digging into flesh. Ambiguous, complex, inventive, and subversively comic, Peru is a compendium of unnerving observations about memory, violence, obsession, and the potential horror behind the facade of an ordinary life.