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Showing posts from September, 2016

taylor jacob pate - This series of interconnected confessional-cum-fairy-tale poems whisk the reader along at a breakneck pace. pate’s language is at once hard and gem-like, exquisitely ornate, and succinctly muscular

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taylor jacob pate, Becoming the Virgin, Action Books, 2016.




Simultaneously enchanting and brutal, taylor jacob pate’s debut book Becoming the Virgin is a work of desperate intensity. This series of interconnected confessional-cum-fairy-tale poems whisk the reader along at a breakneck pace. pate’s language is at once hard and gem-like, exquisitely ornate, and succinctly muscular. The text oscillates from spellbinding beauty and wonder to undercurrents of uncontrollable violence, passion, pain, and melee. It travels the fluxes between self and creature. It loses itself in dark forests of language: branches in which we all become entangled.




“These poems melt the psychic icons of whiteboyhood and pastoral po’ into wild, twitching wax.” – Joe Hall








When reading taylor jacob pate’s debut collection, becoming the virgin, I expected the speaker to be a simpering maiden, but I got a fiery androgyne. The patriarchal thirst for chaste brides feminized the concept of virginity, at least, in my own…

Rein Raud - This Estonian novel draws on the trope of American Westerns in which a mysterious hero shows up on the scene, sets things right, and then disappears. The wry, arch tone Raud adopts throughout the book perfectly reflects the sense of a world in which freedom to act adds up to both everything and nothing

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Rein Raud, The Brother, Trans. by Adam Cullen, Open letter, 2016.




The Brother opens with a mysterious stranger arriving in a small town controlled by a group of men—men who recently cheated the stranger’s supposed sister out of her inheritance and mother’s estate. Resigned to giving up on her dreams and ambitions, Laila took this swindling in stride, something that Brother won’t stand for. Soon after his arrival, fortunes change dramatically, enraging this group of powerful men, motivating them to get their revenge on Brother. Meanwhile, a rat-faced paralegal makes it his mission to discover Brother’s true identity . . .
The first novel of Rein Raud’s to appear in English, The Brother is, in Raud’s own words, a spaghetti western told in poetic prose, simultaneously paying tribute to both Clint Eastwood and Alessandro Baricco. With its well-drawn characters and quick moving plot, it takes on more mythic aspects, lightly touching on philosophical ideas of identity and the ruthless way th…

Agustin Aguilar - Focusing on a boy named Arturo who one day finds and befriends a pyramid that is simultaneously his shadow, a chalice of lore and history, and a living entity (perhaps a goddess), 'Leonora Come Down' invites readers to observe, absorb, and untangle an otherworldly puzzle

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Agustin Aguilar,  Leonora Come Down, We Heard You Like Books,2016.




Giants made of rock. People made of clay. The moon who walks the earth as a man and digs through garbage. Fairy tales told by a primitive lake people, nothing more.
In Wiskatchekwa, reality is made of firmer, cleaner stuff. So the town thinks.
Beneath layers of sediment in the ancient lakebed, Wiskatchekwa keeps secrets. It may be why Arturo, a boy, has brought home a sentient basalt pyramid, or why he begins to see a triangular shadow cast by his body. In his town, rumors and suspicions swirl about in the wind, and truth, he finds, is a creature that lives in a lake. A lake, along with the inhabitants along its shore, that may be returning to their land.




Where lies the line between myth, falsehood, and reality? That is one of the central questions buried amid, gorgeous, poetic prose in Agustin Aguilar’s novella Leonora Comes Down, recently published by We Heard You Like Books. This work of fiction, elegant and lush in…

Monica Mody - an allegorical screenplay that's both playful and terrifying. KALA PANI begins in a familiar, stripped down setting: a stage, actors, a Godotian tree as prop. But soon the Beckett allusions fray into the Boschian as the play embarks on a hallucinatory, postcolonial and tech-riven romp into the deprived lives of World Travelers.

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Monica Mody, Kala Pani, 1913 Press, 2013.
www.modymonica.com/


Read excerpts from Kala Pani in 1913 a journal of forms, Boston Review, LIES/ISLEThe Volta, and on Truck.


Monica Mody's KALA PANI is an allegorical screenplay that's both playful and terrifying. KALA PANI begins in a familiar, stripped down setting: a stage, actors, a Godotian tree as prop. But soon the Beckett allusions fray into the Boschian as the play embarks on a hallucinatory, postcolonial and tech-riven romp into the deprived lives of World Travelers. These world travelers (aka, Migrants? Writers? Revolutionaries? Insurgents?) are marooned on a colony island and spin tales such as the story of two sisters, Othershape, and Sameshape. KALA PANI is packed with stories-within-stories and voices that range from officialese to rebellious neologistic song: 'the blubs squeezed themselves into a phalanx of pulped fury.' With each scene, you descend into stranger circles of hell and hope. KALA PANI encompasses …

All The Messiahs - A book like if a Mexican death tabloid snatched you by the shorts and intoned the names of your ancestors in alphabetical order. This has gone beyond surgery with your so-called ability to parse a text. The words parse you

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All The Messiahs, Schism Press, 2016.
www.allthemessiahs.com/




Ghosts stuttering from an abyss reconstructed with profane and profound tenderness. Their husks have fallen out, their decayed flesh hangs on, all stealth and searing pain. Here, faces of gods shine or are they scrawled with the trash of EuroAmerican civilization. - Monica Mody


A book like if a Mexican death tabloid snatched you by the shorts and intoned the names of your ancestors in alphabetical order. This has gone beyond surgery with your so-called ability to parse a text. The words parse you. A baby shut between the covers and stomped with such a precise culmination of weight that it is the only thing I will pay to own.- Sean Kilpatrick

A claustro centrifuge cake collaged cunningly collated to capacity caged on the page. - Penny Goring
Obscure and visceral conflicts among the Modiglianoids. A meta-palimpsest wrought from DIY paste-up aesthetic, in which the resulting textures are as instrumental as the text in renderin…

Schuler Benson - Like a Coen brothers script, his stories are a little serious, a little funny, and a little underwritten; his prose wants you to feel clever when you pick up on the other half of what it implies

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Schuler Benson, The Poor Man's Guide to an Affordable, Painless Suicide, Alternating Current,, 2014.


Twelve stories, fraught with an unapologetic voice of firsthand experience, that pry the lock off of the addiction, fanaticism, violence, and fear of characters whose lives are mired in the darkness of isolation and the horror and the hilarity of the mundane. This is the Deep South: the dark territory of brine, pine, gravel, and red clay, where pavement still fears to tread.
And because you deserve the very best, the collection is richly illustrated throughout the pieces by talented artists Ryan Murray and Patrick Traylor. Don’t mention it. Ya’ll’re welcome.




“Schuler Benson writes like the spawn of Chuck Palahniuk and Barry Hannah. While approaching his subjects with empathy, humor, and a keen eye for detail, he creates a world of snake-charming preachers, meth heads, and spurned lovers. This collection will make you laugh, make you anxious, and keep you turning the pages. Read this…

Siouxzi Mernagh - an anthology of essays, short fiction, novel extracts and film stills. The book is an invitation to get lost within varied landscapes of its pages: middle-of-nowhere Australia, the minds of Susan Sontag and W.G Sebald, and, most prominently, the proverbial forests of all of our childhoods

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Siouxzi Mernagh, Little houses, big forests (desire is no light thing),Repeater Books, 2017.


siouxzimernagh.com/








Little houses, big forests (desire is no light thing) is an anthology of essays, short fiction, novel extracts and film stills – the first containment in one place of the writing and visual work of Siouxzi Mernagh. The book is an invitation to get lost within varied landscapes of its pages: middle-of-nowhere Australia, the minds of Susan Sontag and W.G Sebald, and, most prominently, the proverbial forests of all of our childhoods. There are, however, a few thematic paths to trace through these landscapes. Coming-of-age desire, our uneasy sense of self when isolated in nature and female sexuality become the mile-markers. The invitation to get lost is an invitation to come out the other side with the sense that being lost is not necessarily a state to be avoided but one in which we can occasionally luxuriate in.



Our Little Wooden House in the Forest (previous working title: ‘I…

Ramón Saizarbitoria - the most important Basque novel ever. A Tolstoyan saga, dealing with the post-ETA era in the Basque lands, the challenges of modernizing and maintaining a Basque identity, and a Proustian inquiry into life

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Ramón Saizarbitoria,Martutene, Trans. by Aritz Branton, Hispabooks,2016.


Winner of the Basque Country’s Fiction Prize, Martutene is a unique novel destined to become an essential reference of Contemporary World Literature.
Abaitua and Pilar, a gynecologist and a neurosurgeon, and Martin and Julia, a writer and a translator, are two couples worn down by years of marriage who have slid off into a kind of bored decadence. Their group of friends and family complete an insightful portrait of post-independence movement Basque life in which the arrival of Lynn, a refreshing young American sociologist, will trigger unexpected events.
Martutene is a truly outstanding work of fiction in which life and art weave and tangle. An exploration of those thoughts and feelings that expose our miseries and our deepest fears as human beings.




"A disruptive romance illuminates complexities of ethnic and political identity in Saizarbitoria’s substantial novel set in the Basque region in Spain. . . . a pr…