Absolutely Golden: A Novel
Stalking Horse Press
It’s 1973, and a thirty-something widow has been cajoled by a young hippie parasite into financing their vacation to a nudist colony in the Northern California mountains. The night before their departure, however, she arrives home to learn that she and this man will be accompanied by the stripper on his lap. At Camp Freedom Lake, the trio meet a womanizing evangelist, a bumbling Zen gardener, and a pair of aging drug-addled swingers from Holland. Together, they’re catapulted through one improbable event after the other, each stranger than the last, until finally the woman who was dominated by her fear of past and future finds herself reveling in the great here and now.
D. Foy’s Absolutely Golden is a radical departure from his two previous novels, Made to Breakand Patricide. It’s comic, ebullient, magic, light, gently surrealistic. It’s rollicking, effervescent, slyly profound. But more, this brisk tale offers a kaleidoscopic look at parts of the 1970s we haven’t often seen in fiction—nudism, New Age philosophy, Eastern religion, the occult, swingers culture, California culture, and then some.
Best of all, Foy tells his story in the guise of a woman obsessed with the notion that she’ll never find another man until she’s rid of what she believes to be a mysterious curse. As if written in the marriage of Vladimir Nabokov, Renata Adler, and Anaïs Nin, her words transport us from doubt, despair, and dread into states of increasing wonder and euphoria.
The Abridged History of Rainfall
The Abridged History of Rainfall is a finalist for the National Book Award.
Jay Hopler’s second collection, a mourning song for his father, is an elegy of uproar, a careening hymn to disaster and its aftermath. In lyric poems by turns droll and desolate, Hopler documents the struggle to live in the face of great loss, a task that sends him ranging through Florida’s torrid subtropics, the mountains of the American West, the streets of Rome, and the Umbrian countryside. Vivid, dynamic, unrestrained: The Abridged History of Rainfall is a festival of glowing saints and fighting cocks, of firebombs and birdsong.
The Amputee’s Guide to Sex
Soft Skull Press
A paradigm-shifting collection about disability and desire, recontextualized with a new introduction by one of our most provocative contemporary poets.
When Jillian Weise wrote The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, it was with the intention of changing the conversation around disability; essentially, she was tired of seeing “cripples” portrayed as asexual characters. The collection that resulted is a powerful lesson in desire, the body, pain, and possession. These poems interrogate medical language and history, imagine Mona Lisa in a wheelchair, rewrite Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “In the Waiting Room,” address a lover’s arsonist ex-girlfriend, and show the prosthesis as the object of male curiosity and lust. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called the book a “charged and daring debut” and described Jillian Weise as an “agile and powerful poet . . . speaking boldly and compassionately about a little-discussed subject that becomes universal in her careful hands.”
Ten years since its first publication, our culture continues to grapple with questions limned in this collection. In a new introduction, Weise revisits and recontextualizes her work, revealing its urgency to our present moment. What are the challenges of speaking “for” a community? How to resist the institutionalization of ableist paradigms? How are atypical bodies silenced? Where do our corporeal selves intersect with our technologies?
City Primeval. New York, Berlin, Prague
curated by Robert Carrithers & Louis Armand
CITY PRIMEVAL is a constellation of personal documentaries of place & time by key contemporary writers, poets, musicians, designers, filmmakers, photographers, artists, editors, performers from within the New York, Berlin & Prague underground scenes from the late 1970s to the present; from New York Post-Punk & No Wave, to the fall of the Berlin Wall & Reunification, to the Velvet Revolution & the Prague Renaissance; including contributions by Bruno Adams, Penny Arcade, Louis Armand, Dale Ashmun, J.Jackie Baier, Markéta Baňková, Varhan Orchestrovič Bauer, Lina Bertucci, Gaby Bíla-Günther, Mykel Board, Victor Bockris, Christoph Brandl, Gary Ray Bugarcic, Robert Carrithers, David Černý, Roman Černý, Michal Cihlář, Antonio Cossa, William Coupon, Max Dax, Christoph Dreher, Sara Driver, Glen Emery, Vincent Farnsworth, Nat Finkelstein, Roxanne Fontana, Thor Garcia, Susanne Glück, Carola Goellner, Anthony Haden Guest, Carl Haber, Jex Harshman, Henry Hills, Nhoah Hoena, Michael Holman, John Hood, Chris Hughes, Jolana Izbická, Timo Jacobs, Bethany Eden Jacobson, Tobiáš Jirous, Bettina Köster, Julius Klein, Hubert Ketzschmar, Jaromír Lelek, Lydia Lunch, Rinat Magsumov, Peter Milne, Steve Morell, Mona Mur, Julia Murakami, Shalom Neuman, Paul Pacey, Puma Perl, Rudolf Piper, Rudi Protrudi, Mark Reeder, Marcia Resnick, Ingrid Rudefors, Ilse Ruppert, Šimon Šafránek, Honza Sakař, Oliver Schütz, Marcia Schofield, Tom Scully, Semra Sevin, Phil Shoenfelt, Peter Smith, Azalea So Sweet, Mark Steiner, Kenton Turk, André Werner, Ian Wright, Nick Zedd, Dave Zijlstra, Richard & Winter Zoli, Miron Zownir.
CITY PRIMEVAL: NEW YORK, BERLIN, PRAGUE is a personal journey through time in each city told by writers, artists and photographers from each city.
“This book perfectly captures the unique personalities of the many artists, musicians, writers, performers and just plain kooks who made the 80s zeitgeist rock!” – Ann Magnuson
Death Pacts and Left-Hand Paths
John Wayne Comunale
Everyone is looking for shortcuts in life, but rarely do they find the kind they’re looking for, and when they do it never turns out like they thought. But what if you were to accidentally fall into cahoots with an other-worldly creature who could provide those shortcuts and so much more? Of course, there’s always a price attached to such favors, but killing gets easier the more you do it, and everything is great as long as the rewards outweigh the risk. That is until you find out this was never true and you’ve inadvertently set into motion something so horrible you lack the capacity to understand or accept it.
It’s the universal exhaustion. We’re all tired. Life has ceased to have a fundamental meaning, ironically where the meaning is found. We’ve become bored existentialists, tired nihilists, worn out Jains, depressed Buddhists, crushed philosophers.
Exhaustion follows such a story, such a truth. Imagine two tired street kids approaching you, not knowing what to do with their feelings and attachments. Meet Rafael and Simon, Rafael the upbeat optimist still worn by the streets, and Simon, the kid who wishes for a father and struggles with an intense sadness he can’t quite explain. Or Lucas, a man who struggles with his mind, struggles with the big questions, isolates himself and tortures himself to be a true existentialist and understand reality, existence, falling prey to madness when he can’t take it anymore, when the absurd universe Camus envisions finally takes its toll. It is a story that will make even Nietzsche weep with regret, remorse, and sorrow for the state of the world, for the suffering that exists.
Synthesizing early Eastern philosophy and religion with the Western existentialists amidst a chaotic plot, Exhaustion seeks to ask the hard questions. What constitutes reality? How do we know we understand existence … or, is reality something that can’t be understood? How do we escape our earthly attachments, or is it the earthly attachments what makes life worth it, even if it causes inevitable suffering?
When you’re homeless, when you’re mentally tortured, when you’re down on your luck, sometimes, it seems attachment is what gets you through … even if it hurts.
Even if it leaves you exhausted, worn out, tired: That’s exactly where the meaning is.
Hold For Release Until the End of the World
This is the last thing you’ll ever see.
Welcome to Daxton. The neighbor is crazy. The roommate is running a perpetual scam. Being degraded by the boss on a daily basis is part of the job. The children are willingly abducted. The probability of getting shot while purchasing groceries is high. And don’t forget to fill your quota of junk strategically placed in your yard to be viewed from the street.
Why would you want to live anywhere else?
J.G. Ballard Modern Masters of Science Fiction
D. Harlan Wilson
University of Illinois Press
The surrealist mindscapes of the New Wave innovator
Prophetic short stories and apocalyptic novels like The Crystal World made J. G. Ballard a foundational figure in the British New Wave. Rejecting the science fiction of rockets and aliens, he explored an inner space of humanity informed by psychiatry and biology and shaped by surrealism. Later in his career, Ballard’s combustible plots and violent imagery spurred controversy–even legal action–while his autobiographical 1984 war novel Empire of the Sun brought him fame.
D. Harlan Wilson offers the first career-spanning analysis of an author who helped steer SF in new, if startling, directions. Here was a writer committed to moral ambiguity, one who drowned the world and erected a London high-rise doomed to descend into savagery–and coolly picked apart the characters trapped within each story. Wilson also examines Ballard’s methods, his influence on cyberpunk, and the ways his fiction operates within the sphere of our larger culture and within SF itself.
“A new comprehensive standard. Wilson’s insights reach to the furthest ends of J. G. Ballard’s bookshelf, complicate easy assumptions about the location of the ‘autobiographical’ in his novels, and, best of all, assert that if there is a science fiction worth advancing into the twenty-first century, Ballard is at the center, not the periphery, of that project.”–Jonathan Lethem
“In this wide-ranging and accessible work, D. Harlan Wilson argues that J. G. Ballard is a writer who remained true to science fiction even as he claimed to abandon the genre. With clear-eyed intelligence and a deep understanding of his subject, Wilson builds a compelling case for Ballard as perhaps SF’s most radical innovator.”–Simon Sellars, coeditor of Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J. G. Ballard, 1967–2008
“Did J. G. Ballard protest too much? In this engaging work, Wilson makes a compelling case that, though Ballard often distanced himself from science fiction, his entire oeuvre belongs to the genre, even if Ballard fundamentally changed the genre along the way to include the terrain of inner space and the science-fictionalization of everyday life. A wonderful reading of one of late modernity’s greatest imaginative writers.”–David Ian Paddy, author of The Empires of J. G. Ballard: An Imagined Geography
The Job of the Wasp
Soft Skull Press
“A witty and grisly gothic unlike anything I’ve ever read. You should absolutely read this.” —Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
Lazarus Rising: The Play
“Lazarus, come out!” The dead rise in a small town cemetery and they are hungry. A cast of seven survivors take shelter in a near by house. Each must come to terms with their own internal crisis while surviving the one lurking outside the door. Lazarus Rising is a play in 2 acts described by viewers as scary and cathartic.
A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be: A Novel
Quintan Ana Wikswo
Stalking Horse Press
A searing, sensual novel with photographs, A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Beweaves together southern fabulism and gothic fury, pulling at the restless, volatile threads of seditious American iconoclasts Zora Neale Hurston, Patti Smith, Cormac McCarthy, and Toni Morrison. At this devil’s crossroads of the King James Bible and the Egyptian Book of the Dead emerge the ghosts and realities of sex, race, violence, and hauntingly vulnerable emotion. Quintan Ana Wikswo has written an unforgettable and relentless reinvestigation of the American soul.
A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be unfolds on the unruly, mixed-race, queer-sexed margins of a conservative 1930s Southern town. In the wake of abandonment by her husband, an impoverished young midwife and her twin daughters create a hospice and sanctuary for the town’s outcasts within a deserted antebellum plantation house. The twins inhabit a fantastical world of ancient resistances, macabre births, glorious deaths, ravenous love affairs, clandestine sorceries, and secret madnesses—a site where the legacies of catastrophic injustice, bigotry, brutality, and grief contend with unquenchable desires for restitution, wholeness, sexual liberty, and lives of freedom outside the chokeholds of racism, misogyny and social constraint. Overshadowed by lingering scandals of miscegenation, the persistence of searing endemic violence, and a troubling secrecy surrounding their father’s disappearance, the women begin to walk into the discomforting limitations of their myths and wounds, and create their own new maps of sexual and personal fulfillment, resilience, and transformation. When the town claims that he is closer than they think, the women must decide whether his reappearance would offer wholeness, or unbearable consequences to their own hardfought, courageous journeys towards existential insurrection.
Scar On/Scar Off: Poems
Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Stalking Horse Press
Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s ‘Scar On/Scar Off’ runs the borderlands of mestiza consciousness, by turns neon-lit and beating, defiant and clashing, searching and struggling, in fistfuls of recognition, in constant pursuit of intersections and dualities. Drawing on Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, and the inspirations of her late friend Monica A. Hand, through polyglossia and hybrid text, McCauley evokes vividly the relationships between psyche and city, identity and language. In the rhythm and snap of these poems and fragmentary stories, we find echoes of Sarah Webster Fabio, Beyonce, flamenco, Nikki Giovanni, street slang, danger and hope. This is a profound collection, a rebel language.
Los Angeles, 1942. Psychoanalyst Maxwell McKinney and his wife Joan await the return of their son after the sinking of the USS Yorktown. With sections of the city under camouflage and ordinances against “enemy aliens,” McKinney is troubled by his ambivalent feelings for his son and fears that California will be invaded by the Japanese. A chance encounter with a man who appears to be his double, a screenwriter named Sid Starr, allows McKinney to confront his guilt. Entwined with McKinney, Starr finds that his own identity is at stake, and between the two, McKinney’s wife and son fight against their own destruction.
Punctuating great American fears, James Reich targets the zones of recent history where worlds and anxieties collide, among them UFOs, the Battle of Midway, Hollywood, psychoanalysis and Japanese internment. Soft Invasionsis an existential thriller about cowardice, cruelty and betrayal that invokes David Cronenberg’s body-horror classics as well as the cold California glamor of Joan Didion, the ominous noir of Horace McCoy and the psychic angst of Norman Mailer.
This edition features an afterword by literary and media theorist Laurence A. Rickels, whose many works include SPECTRE and Germany: A Science Fiction, both available from Anti-Oedipus Press.
Under the Shanghai Tunnels and Other Weird Tales
“Weird tales indeed. The most entertaining/funny/strange collection I’ve read this year. Widener should probably be institutionalized. Great stories from a very imaginative author.” – Gina Ranalli, author of Mother Puncher and Suicide Girls in the Afterlife
“In these stories you’ll discover legends, monsters, secret tunnels, and magical elves–along with some interesting true history. Widener has a way of combining the gritty and the whimsical, crafting tall tales that exude a streetwise wisdom and his own unique sense of humor. Imagine traditional fairy tales embellished by a wise-cracking favorite uncle, and you’re almost there.” – S.P. Miskowski, author of I Wish I Was Like You
there is nothing for me
I guess that’s why I have
a book of poems
I am wordless
I guess that is why I am
Daulton Dickey is a novelist, poet, and content creator currently living in Indiana with his wife and kids. He’s the author of A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms: Stories, Still Life with Chattering Teeth and People-Shaped Things, and other stories, Elegiac Machinations: an experimental novella, and Bastard Virtues, a novel. Rooster Republic Press will publish his latest novel, Flesh Made World, later this year. Contact him at daultondickey[at]yahoo[dot]com.