Novels & Novellas

Steven Dunn: Potted Meat

A novel set in a decaying town in southern West Virginia, Potted Meat follows a young boy into adolescence as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction, and racial tensions. Using fragments as a narrative mode to highlight the terror of ellipses, Potted Meat explores the fear, power, and vulnerability of storytelling. “Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is full of wonder and silence and beauty and strangeness and ugliness and sadness and truth and hope…. This book needs to be read” (LAIRD HUNT). “An extraordinary book. Here is an emerging voice that calls us to attention…. Like a visceral intervention across the surface of language, simultaneously cutting to its depths, to change the world” (SELAH SATERSTROM).

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Kim Parko: The Grotesque Child

The Grotesque Child is a story about being and being and being something else. It is about swallowing and regurgitating, conceiving and birthing. It is about orifices and orbs. It is about the viscous, weepy, goopy, mucousy, bloody state of feminine being and trans-being. It is about pain and various healers and torturers, soothers and inflictors. It is about what sleeps and hides in all the nooks and crannies of perceived existence and existence unperceived.

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Claire Donato: Burial

Set in the mind of a narrator who is grieving the loss of her father, who conflates her motel room with the morgue, and who encounters characters that may not exist, Claire Donato’s Burial is a little novel about an immeasurable black hole. “dark, multivalent, genre-bending … unrelenting, grotesque beauty” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “BEST SUMMER READS”) “Unforgettable” (HEATHER CHRISTLE); “Precise urn-like prose … with the poise of Woolf or Loy or Carson” (BLAKE BUTLER); “shimmers with pain and delight” (BRIAN EVENSON); “Donato’s assured and poetic debut augurs a promising career” (BENJAMIN MOSER).

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Johannes Goransson: Haute Surveillance

“[A] feverish and explicit set of images and ideas revolving around power, fetish, porn, media, violence, translation, punishment, performance, and aesthetics….. kind of like a novelization of a movie about the production of a play based on Abu Ghraib, though with way more starlets and cocaine and semen.” (BLAKE BUTLER, VICE); “part epic poem, part science fiction, part pornographic film, and all literature” (JOHN YAU, HYPERALLERGIC); “so filled with invention and wit and ferocity that I was compelled to read it, at times against my will, mesmerized, enthralled. (CAROLE MASO)

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Kim Gek Lin Short: China Cowboy

Set in a technicolor timewarp called Hell, Hong Kong, Kim Gek Lin Short’s China Cowboy follows wannabe cowgirl La La, who is hellbent on realizing her dream to be a folk-singing sensation even as she tries to survive her kidnapper, Ren, who is just hellbent. Ren thinks he’ll win, but La La, dead or alive, always wins. “both devastating and uncomfortably enjoyable” (AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW); “a satanically intricate narrative with seemingly infinite vantage points in space, time and sympathy … a zone where elegance and grace can gambol with the just-plain-fucked-up” (HTML GIANT), “leaves one’s nerves exposed and moral fortitude shaken” (FACT-SIMILE). “Excruciatingly compelling, so infernal…in languages variously pornographic and desperately, radically tender…. A bold, imaginative, timely work from a courageous and complex thinker” (HEIDI LYNN STAPLES) “Grossly disturbing and excruciatingly seductive… Tales of fierce femme survival…. (JAI ARUN RAVINE)

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Jenny Boully: not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them

In not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, Jenny Boully presents us with a “deliciously creepy” swan song from Wendy Darling to Peter Pan. As in her previous book [one love affair]*, Boully reads between the lines of a text—in this case J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy—and emerges with the darker underside, with those sinister or subversive places merely echoed or hinted at. “[T]o delve into Boully’s work is to dive with faith from the plank — to jump, with hope and belief and a wish to see what the author has given us: a fresh, imaginative look at a tale as ageless as Peter himself.” (BOOKSLUT) “Simultaneously metaphysical and visceral, these addresses from Wendy to Peter in lyric prose are scary, sexual, and intellectually disarming.” (HUFFINGTON POST); “Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer—in the best way.” (ANDER MONSON)

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Johannes Goransson: Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate

“I don’t know where else you could contract the plague in these words but by ten TVs at once. On the TVs play: Salo, the weather channel, 2x Fassbinder (any), Family Double Dare, ads for ground beef, blurry surgical recordings, porno, porno, Anger (all)…. You’ll need a machine gun and a body double…. Burroughs and Genet and ‘Pac are dead. Long live Goransson” (BLAKE BUTLER); “a discomfiting, filthy, hilarious, and ecstatic piece of literature that is cocked and ready” (BOOKSLUT); “Page after page begins to infect the reader, begins to parasite the reader as host, parasite the host’s inner child … before immolating the host, the reader” (PANK MAG); “a pile up of sequined things and fleshy things…. The audience is often implicated. After all, torture and interrogation is not borne out of individual will and action alone…. All aboard” (HTML GIANT)

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Kim Gek Lin Short: The Bugging Watch and Other Exhibits

The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits is the prose elegy of a boy who wants to be a bug in order to save by symbiosis the dead girl he loves. Enacted in prose poems and cross-referenced datebooks, the inseparable lovers eternally rehearse for a real life together, repeating in that instant between being and nonbeing, the loss into which their love escaped. “beguiling and entirely enthralling” (ART + CULTURE); “An opiate trip . . . terrifying, ungraspable . . . sad and beautiful” (NEW PAGES); “Irresistible!” (NORMA COLE); “Do not read this book at night” (BHANU KAPIL); “This small unsettling book . . . both conceals and reveals its morbidity, its twisted thirsts” (JOYELLE MCSWEENEY); “Valentines . . . cut from thick, mealy-colored childhood stock. Here is language as enchantment” (SELAH SATERSTROM)

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Andrew Zornoza: Where I Stay

Andrew Zornoza’s debut, Where I Stay (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) walks the highways and dirt roads of a landscape filled with characters in transition: squatters, survivalists, prostitutes, drug runners, skinheads, border guards and con-men. A meditation on desperation, identity, geography, memory, and love, Where I Stay is a story about endurance, about the empty spaces in ourselves, about the new possibilities we find only after we have lost everything: “Refreshing, pitch-perfect kind of steering that is innovative not only for the genre it might get called into, but for experiential and language-focused texts of every stripe…. Meditative and rhythmic in the mind of Mary Robison mashed with William Vollmann…. Unforgettable.” (BLAKE BUTLER, HTML GIANT); “Squarely situated between the ethos of Jack Kerouac and Walker Evans” (REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY FICTION); “With a languorous but precise lyricism…. [Zornoza] is a cartographer of loneliness, doubt, and fear, one that fearlessly delineates the stark realms of disappointment, unrequited love, and unfulfilled dreams” (RAIN TAXI); “a gifted journey through borderlands between text and image” (LANCE OLSEN); “As haunting as it is gritty…. I hesitate to simply call it a book; its ambitions, beautifully realized, make it a hybrid of textual and visual arts” (SMALL PRESS REVIEWS); “expert” (NEWPAGES)

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