Jonathan Ball reviews a, A novel in The Winnipeg Free Press:

Derek Beaulieu’s a, A Novel (Jean Boite Editions, 488 pages, $42) erases the text of Andy Warhol’s important conceptual novel, a, to leave only — and thus highlight instead — its punctuation and sound effects. These were the additions of the anonymous female transcribers who were arguably the novel’s true creators, and Beaulieu’s project constitutes something of a feminist rewriting and recuperation of the Warhol work. Beaulieu is both a conceptual writer and a visual poet, and this erasure text — mostly waves of punctuation that is itself punctuated with oddly banal-but-poetic phrases (for example, out of nowhere we find “60-second pause and the sound of washing feet”) — blends his two practices beautifully. Although many conceptual writers (such as Kenneth Goldsmith) say you don’t actually need to read conceptual writing, they are wrong. Beaulieu’s text nicely displays why. Startling literary effects that should not be possible — in this case, a strange sort of suspense — are created through unlikely methods and in a manner that speaks to literature’s true methods and value. It’s Beaulieu’s best work and a necessary addition to any library of experimental art.