Cover00J. C. Hallman at Bookforum:

Even though the essays here are divided into thematic sections, the feel of the book that emerges as the two D’Ambrosios converge is something like the impact of a powerful memoir: It recounts how one of the most profound essayists at work today found his vision, while presenting a selection of what his broad range of experiences has led him to believe about our world, our nature, and our literature.

There’s an interesting backstory to Loitering, as well. About ten years ago, D’Ambrosio published a collection of nonfiction pieces called Orphans with the little-known Clear Cut Press. Even though Orphans reprinted work that had first appeared in the New Yorker andHarper’s Magazine, not many readers knew of D’Ambrosio’s nonfiction; most of it originally appeared in more local venues like Seattle’s The Stranger and the interesting but short-lived magazine Nest. But if you were following D’Ambrosio’s career closely, you couldn’t help but notice that the right people seemed to know about Orphans. It was a handsome little paperback, about the size of a wallet, with one of those little bookmark ribbons attached to its spine to suggest that you wouldn’t just read this volume but study it. For a few years there, once the first run sold out and no more printings were forthcoming, Orphans was like a piece of street art or samizdat: It was rare, and even knowing it existed made you serious.

more here.