Describing David Leo Rice‘s new novel ANGEL HOUSE is the stuff out of which madness arises. There’s a godlike being answering to mysterious, ominous superiors; there’s a town created spontaneously from a blank landscape; there’s a running subplot about filmaking; and the lines between consciousnesses occasionally blur. (I should mention here that I’m not entirely unbiased regarding ANGEL HOUSE, by which I mean that I blurbed this book.) Rice has created something here that conjures up memories of the works of Julio Cortazár and Michael Cisco: it’s primally unsettling and unnervingly compelling. I asked him some questions about it on the eve of its release this week.
Today, we’re pleased to present an excerpt from Gregory Spatz’s new book What Could Be Saved: Bookmatched Novellas and Stories, a collection in which violins play a significant role. (When he’s not writing, Spatz is also an accomplished musician.) In her review of the book for NPR, Martha Anne Toll writes, “What Could Be Saved is for readers who love being immersed in the minutiae of a world they would not otherwise enter.” And it comes complete with a blurb from Paul Harding, who knows a thing or two about good writing.
Cody Goodfellow’s sprawling novel Unamerica is a heady, indescribable work of fiction. It’s literally a cult novel: Unamerica focuses on the conflict between two warring factions within a massive underground city located on the border between the United States and Mexico. It’s a surreal place abounding with strange subcultures, corporate overlords, and weird drugs. And, despite this novel’s size, it never lags: visions, violence, and a pervasive sense of danger are constants across the narrative. I talked with Goodfellow about the novel’s genesis and its overlap with the current state of American politics.
We’re pleased to present an excerpt from David Huddle’s novel Hazel today. Huddle’s novel follows the story of a man reconstructing the life of his aunt. To quote the novel’s publisher, “What emerges, through found documents, photographs, interviews, and a sequence of narratives, is a moving story of his aunt’s long, paradoxical, Vermont life.”
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.
Ryan Chapman’s debut novel, Riots I Have Known is one of the best funniest books of recent memory. Chapman writes with a blistering comedic voice, reminiscent of early Donald Antrim. Page after page, he deftly turns sentences into knives. I talked to Chapman over the phone in April 2019.
We’re pleased to publish an excerpt from Frances Badalamenti‘s novel I Don’t Blame You, out this week on Unsolicited Press. The publisher describes it as follows: “I Don’t Blame You is a young woman’s journey of losing her mother a mere two months before becoming a mother. It follows Ana through a year of going between her home in Portland and her mother’s home base in New Jersey as she battled cancer and as Ana grew a baby. The narrative begins with backstory around her mother’s early life being raised by a single mother in poverty in a Bronx tenement apartment and also her father’s early years in depression-era Brooklyn, both raised in challenging circumstances by Italian immigrants.”
Juliet the Maniac, the third book and first novel from Juliet Escoria, has been earning rave reviews since its release earlier this month. In his review of the book for NPR, Gabino Iglesias noted, “Juliet The Maniac is a heartfelt, raw, powerfully told story about surviving mental illness and learning to cope with inner demons. Escoria is a talented writer who’s not afraid to write her truth, even when it will scrape viciously at the souls of readers.” Robert Lopez spoke with Escoria about the lines between autofiction and memoir, how she developed her prose style, and personal mythologies.