Defoe is an epic where images of battle become meditations, and epic wherein events flap in silence as the narrative moves toward a place where the reader and text become one. The images of this fiction don't resemble events, but are new occurrences in time and space. In Part I, Waking Life, the heroine, in love with James Dean, discovers herself in a desert pocked with fires in which the “henna man”—a drug dealer— is being carried in a white cocoon. And throughout Scalapino's work the reader is taken into a world where the written word creates “an event retrieved from so far back that it is separated from memory.”

The Review of Contemporary Fiction wrote of this book: “As a literary work, Defoe most closely resembles the sort of automatic writing pioneered by Breton and Soupault; as a political and philosophical critique of contemporary discourse, Defoe reveals a deep affinity with the works of Heidegger and Derrida. But ultimately—perhaps most controversially—it is a call writers to liberate themselves from the limits of narrative and embrace a new kind of writing.”

Author of Considering how exaggerated music is, that they were on the beach, way, Crowd and not evening or light and numerous other works, Scalapino lives in Oakland, California.