Sitting Shiva for Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel

The year was 2003. America and Israel were fighting their respective endless wars, and as per the tradition of my Orthodox Jewish community I left home to grow my soul in the holy dirt of an Israeli Yeshiva. The transition trashed my fragile personality. Leaving Brooklyn stripped the meager armor I accumulated and left me confused by violent homosexual thoughts, unprotected from unexplored regions of self-hatred, and sickened by vivid day dreams of suicide. Life was suddenly plague-of-darkness level dark and I had no words but inarticulate howls. I was terrified to tell my parents, scared to let down my rabbi (his counsel would be to find a therapist who would not turn me away from God), and frightened to push away my friends. Each day to cope, I huddled, still clothed, into a spiraled scrawny mass on the dirty bathroom floor, crying into a warm amniotic sac of shower water and my tears. It was bad. 

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Chocolate : The Heat of Our Thoughts — An Excerpt From Lance Olsen’s “My Red Heaven”

"My Red Heaven" cover

Lance Olsen’s new novel My Red Heaven follows a host of characters in Berlin over the course of one day in 1927. At times, Olsen’s prose tells of artistic breakthroughs; at others, such as the excerpt featured here, he gradually takes the reader into a more nightmarish space. In the midst of Modernism’s rise, Olsen pays homage to Modernist writing, even as he pushes onwards into haunting historical vistas. My Red Heaven will be released by Dzanc Books on January 21st.

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“I Just Like Creating Art”: An Interview With Troy James Weaver

Troy James Weaver

A Troy James Weaver story reminds me of when I want to eat at a Waffle House, by myself. Or go to DisneyLand, but just to walk around. He depicts the awareness of being alone in a crowded space better than any writer I know. Of the calculated, precise sentences of Édouard Levé or Gary Lutz, but with a humble radiance that seems ready to explode in a vicious hellfire at any moment, Selected Stories is the collection you run looking for because you left it in the corner booth at the 24-hr. diner just before the apocalypse. 

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Sean Beaudoin

Sean Beaudoin

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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Vol.1 Brooklyn’s January 2020 Book Preview

January 2020 book preview

New year, new books. January offers plenty of new titles to choose from, ranging from unsettling dystopias to thought-provoking works of nonfiction to boldly experimental literary works. Some of the books we’re most excited to read this month are from old favorites of ours; others are from writers whose work we’re eager to read for the first time. Here’s a selection of some of the January books we’re looking forward to.

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Meg Pokrass

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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A Country That No Longer Exists: An Excerpt From “Soviet Stamps”

"Soviet Stamps" cover

We’re pleased to present an excerpt from Soviet Stamps, the new book from artist, writer, and Vol.1 Brooklyn contributor Dmitry Samarov. Samarov describes it as follows: “Through written vignettes, artwork, and family photos the book charts Samarov’s emigration from the USSR in 1978, on to his attempts to fit into American society and peripatetic attempts to earn a living, while continuing to create artwork.” It’s available and can be purchased in New York at Quimby’s Bookstore NYC.

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“Storytelling and Art Should Feel Sacred”: An Interview With Rion Amilcar Scott

Rion Amilcar Scott

First things first: Rion Amilcar Scott’s collection The World Doesn’t Require You is one of 2019’s very best books. It contains an array of stories that run the gamut from academic satire to subtle reckonings with history and folklore. Want boldly conceptual speculative narratives? You’ll find those in there, too. And the thing is, it all comes together brilliantly. Needless to say, I had a couple of questions for him on how this book came together; and lo, he answered them.

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