Dana Spiotta's new novel, Stone Arabia, is about memory and obsession. Denise, the novel's narrarator explores her relationship with her brother Nik, who is a musician. Nik is creative and started several bands that almost made it, but not finding popular success doesn't stop Nik's flow of work. Strangely, not only does Nik continue to be prolific in recording music, he creates The Chronicles which compile the history of his fictional bands complete with album and concert reviews that he writes.
As Nik obsesses about his own little made up world, Denise obsesses about other people's problems she encounters through the media. Interestingly, Denise does not criticize the media bombardment we experience for desensitizing us to tragedy, but the exact opposite. She feels it makes her too sensitive to too many people's problems about which she can really do nothing.