Rachel Nagelberg











Rachel Nagelberg is the author of The Fifth Wall, a debut novel published by Black Sparrow Books, an imprint of David R. Godine Publisher, in April 2017.

Excerpts of The Fifth Wall are published in 3:Am Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail.





“Set into motion by an inexplicable, traumatic and violent real-life event, Rachel Nagelberg’s brilliant first novel begins at the limits of contemporary art, as it attempts to reflect the ungraspable present. Female and philosophical, emotion flows through the book across a dense and familiarly incomprehensible web of information, from satellite selfies to awkward sex to internet beheadings and shamanic tourism in the third world. Nagelberg’s engrossing narration is littered with stunning perception: We look into the distance to be able to see what’s right in front of us. She writes without affect, and with unselfconscious acuity. That is, she writes really well.”

CHRIS KRAUS, author of I Love Dick


“Nagelberg has a true gift, able to write gorgeously on the line level with unctuous images. And simultaneously, there’s a readable page-turner here. Most of us are lucky to do one of those, which is a testament to the singular talent. This book cascades beauty and meaning and truth.”

JOSHUA MOHR, author of All This Life and Termite Parade


“The Fifth Wall crackles with braininess and sex. It’s hallucinatory and interactive and funny and sad and it has something incandescent to show you. Careful, you might get scorched. Come, take a look.”

STEPHEN BEACHY, author of The Whistling Song and Distortion







I had the pleasure of being interviewed about The Fifth Wall for Women’s History Month by Reece Wallace, a brilliant new intern at David R. Godine who delighted me with the depth of his questions; we talk about healing and history and art and film and grief and terrorism and mothers and Walter Benjamin, not to mention many other super cool things! Check it out here.


Today I celebrate the publication of Cover the Earth, writings by yours truly (inspired by Anthony Baab's Cover the Earth installations), Edition of 15, 42 pages, gorgeously designed by Scott Barry (@miesenplace) of Sqirl in Los Angeles, and published by Maison Gas (@maisongas). DM for inquiries!  


An intimate little portrait of yours truly as an artist/writer, along with a lovely little review of The Fifth Wall, appeared in The Fifth Floor yesterday, a publication put out by the University of Pittsburgh's English Department.


The Fifth Wall releases in the U.K. today! I'm celebrating by going to the gynecologist. <3


I'm very excited to announce the forthcoming publication of performance artist & sculptor Lucien Shapiro's art book, A Fool's Journey: Fear Collection Ritual (Not a Cult Press), in which I've contributed writing.


You can now listen to a recording of my LA book launch reading with Stephen Beachy at Skylight Books here:

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