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Showing posts from April, 2017

Mariam Petrosyan - a carefully constructed narrative that borrows heavily from “Lord of the Flies” by way of “House of Leaves” and “Peter Pan”. Petrosyan slowly and carefully leads the reader step by step through suspension of belief to the House’s inner workings, which manifest in increasingly fluid sentences and offbeat vocabulary

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Mariam Petrosyan, The Gray House, Trans. by Yuri Machkasov, AmazonCrossing, 2017.




The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths.
Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws—all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers’ eyes.
But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.

Petrosyan’s award-winning debut novel, trans…

Catherine Colomb - In these luxe locales, readers encounter upper-class characters with faltering incomes, parvenues, and even ghosts. Throughout, Colomb builds a psychologically penetrating and bold story in which the living and the dead intermingle and in which time itself is a mystery

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Catherine Colomb, The Spirits of the Earth, Trans. by John Taylor, Seagull Books, 2016. [1953.]




Swiss novelist Catherine Colomb is known as one of the most unusual and inventive francophone novelists of the twentieth century. Fascinated by the processes of memory and consciousness, she has been compared to that of Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust. The Spirits of the Earth is the first English translation of Colomb’s work and its arrival will introduce new readers to an iconic novel.
The Spirits of the Earth is at heart a family drama, set at the Fraidaigue château, along the shores of Lake Geneva, and in the Maison d’en Haut country mansion, located in the hills above the lake. In these luxe locales, readers encounter upper-class characters with faltering incomes, parvenues, and even ghosts. Throughout, Colomb builds a psychologically penetrating and bold story in which the living and the dead intermingle and in which time itself is a mystery.
"Originally published in French in 19…

Isabel Waidner - Gaudy Bauble stages a glittering world populated by Gilbert & George-like lesbians, GoldSeXUal StatuEttes, anti-drag kings, maverick detectives, a transgender army equipped with question-mark-shaped helmets, and pets who have dyke written all over them. Everyone interferes with the plot. No one is in control of the plot

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Isabel Waidner, Gaudy Bauble, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017.




"I'm besotted with this beguiling, hilarious, rollocking, language-metamorphosing novel. The future of the queer avant-garde is safe with Isabel Waidner." - Olivia Laing


Gaudy Bauble stages a glittering world populated by Gilbert & George-like lesbians, GoldSeXUal StatuEttes, anti-drag kings, maverick detectives, a transgender army equipped with question-mark-shaped helmets, and pets who have dyke written all over them. Everyone interferes with the plot. No one is in control of the plot. Surprises happen as a matter of course: A faux research process produces actual results. A digital experiment goes viral. Hundreds of lipstick marks requicken a dying body. And the Deadwood-to-Dynamo Audience Prize goes to whoever turns deadestwood into dynamost. Gaudy Bauble stages what happens when the disenfranchised are calling the shots. Riff-raff are running the show and they are making a difference.














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Isabel Waidne…

Albert Mobilio - The 50 short–short stories are based on old–time games played in parlors, basements, and fields with balls, brooms, blindfolds, and cards. As winners and losers emerge from dodge ball, word games or balloon contests, so does the theme of our inner life as ceaseless competition.

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Albert Mobilio, Games And Stunts, Black Square Editions, 2017.
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The 50 short–short stories are based on old–time games played in parlors, basements, and fields with balls, brooms, blindfolds, and cards. As winners and losers emerge from dodge ball, word games or balloon contests, so does the theme of our inner life as ceaseless competition. There is calculation, envy, humiliation and joy, and there is always the next round when everything might change.







Albert Mobilio, Touch Wood, Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Press, 2011.




As a writer, critic, and editor, Albert Mobilio has represented some of the best tendencies in experimental poetry over the past twenty years. Author of three previous books of poems, in his latest he pares down his chiseled writing style to bare essentials that at the same time function as gleaming ornaments. Primarily consisting of short, lyric poems whose dense surfaces are generated through accretion (“wheel’s teeth per inch; / wordage over blood pressure; / s…

Bertrand Laverdure - Funny and sardonic, whimsical and tragic, this postmodern novel with touches of David Foster Wallace and Raymond Queneau portrays the global village of readers that the Internet created, even before the 2.0 revolution

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Bertrand Laverdure, Readopolis, Trans. by Oana Avasilichioaei, BookThug, 2017.


It's 2006 and down-and-out protagonist Ghislain works as a reader for a publishing house in Montreal. He's bored with all the wannabe writers who are determined to leave a trace of their passage on earth with their feeble attempts at literary arts. Obsessed by literature and its future (or lack thereof), he reads everything he can in order to translate reality into the literary delirium that is READOPOLIS—a world imagined out of Chicago and Montreal, with few inhabitants, a convenience store, a parrot, and all kinds of dialogues running amok: cinematic, epistolary, theatrical, and Socratic. In the pages of READOPOLIS (Lectodôme in the original French), Laverdure playfully examines the idea that human beings are more connected by their reading abilities than by anything else. Funny and sardonic, whimsical and tragic, this postmodern novel with touches of David Foster Wallace and Raymond Queneau portr…

Jesse Ruddock - written in a style that somehow combines an easy-spoken blue collar minimalism with wordplay and lyricism. The oblique, hidden emotions of the characters are balanced in part by the ingenuity and playfulness of Ruddock’s language

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Jesse Ruddock, Shot-Blue, Coach House Books, 2017.
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jesseruddock.com/
Watch a trailer for Shot-Blue: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
"Where's Your Boyfriend" in N+1 "First Proof" in BOMB"Crankbait" in LitHub Rachel is a young single mother living with her son, Tristan, on a lake that borders the unchannelled north – remote, nearly inhospitable. She does what she has to do to keep them alive. But soon, and unexpectedly, Tristan will have to live alone, his youth unprotected and rough. The wild, open place that is all he knows will be overrun by strangers – strangers inhabiting the lodge that has replaced his home, strangers who make him fight, talk, and even love, when he doesn't want to. Ravenous and unrelenting, Shot-Blue is a book of first love and first loss.

Shot-Blue is that rarest species, a genuinely wise novel.’ – Rivka Galchen

‘Jesse Ruddock understands the weight of things that cannot be said aloud. A sensitive book about lives lived at the edge of soc…