At The Seattle Review of Books, none other than Paul Constant does his darndest to describe the genius of Rebecca Brown and her new book, Not Heaven, Somewhere Else (TS Press 2018).
Here’s a snippet:
Aside from “genius,” the other word I would use to describe Rebecca Brown is “elemental.” And I mean that in both senses of the word. Anyone who has seen her sweep into a group reading knows that she is a force of nature. She has turned entire rooms upside down with five-minute readings because she is a Category 5 Writer.
But the lesser-used definition of “elemental” is my favorite interpretation of Brown’s writing. As our understanding of the universe has grown as a species, we’ve learned more and more about the very smallest pieces of everything — from the classical understanding of elements to molecules to atoms to protons and neutrons to quarks and leptons. Brown isn’t just a genius at words. She’s a genius at the invisible forces that bind words together….
In Not Heaven, Brown is reaching back into our brains, into the past, into the little switch located somewhere in the gooey glop at the back of our heads that makes us see the world in a never-ending cascade of tales, and she’s doing new things with it — angry things, funny things, fascinating things, things that have never before been done. It feels dangerous and exciting, like if she puts her big brain to it long enough, she could completely rewrite the story of who we are.
Personally, I can’t wait. I’m tired of the old story.