Claire Donato

Claire Donato is the author of the novel Burial, from Tarpaulin Sky Press. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her fiction, poetry, and lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston ReviewEncyclopediaEvening Will ComeLITOctopus, and 1913: a journal of forms. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Someone Else’s Body (Cannibal Books), and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She teaches at Fordham University in the Bronx and has taught at The New School, Hunter College, and 826 Valencia/NYC. For more information, visit somanytumbleweeds.com.

Claire Donato

Claire Donato is the author of the novel Burial, from Tarpaulin Sky Press. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her fiction, poetry, and lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston ReviewEncyclopediaEvening Will ComeLITOctopus, and 1913: a journal of forms. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Someone Else’s Body (Cannibal Books), and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She teaches at Fordham University in the Bronx and has taught at The New School, Hunter College, and 826 Valencia/NYC. For more information, visit somanytumbleweeds.com.

Burial
by Claire Donato

Novel. 104 pages. Paperback. 2013
Publishers Weekly Starred Review & “Best Summer Reads 2013”

Cover art: Patte Loper, “The Sky is Burning, the Sea Aflame”

Set in the mind of a narrator who is grieving the loss of her father, who conflates her hotel room with the morgue, and who encounters characters that may not exist, Burial is a little novel about an immeasurable black hole. Like a 21st century Lispector, Donato grapples with ontology and trades plot for ambience; the result is an elegy in prose at once lyrical and intelligent, with no small amount of rot and vomit and ghosts.

Donato’s hallucinatory meditation on grief seems like a strange summer read, but her poetic, trance-inducing language turns a reckoning with the confusion of mortality into readerly joy at the sensuality of living. Also, it’s small and fits in most pockets, so you can bring it pretty much everywhere, which I plan on doing and highly recommend. (“Best Summer Reads 2013,” Publishers Weekly, chosen by Alex Crowley) A dark, multivalent, genre-bending book…. Donato has composed with unrelenting, grotesque beauty an exhaustive recursive obsession about the unburiability of the dead, and the incomprehensibility of death. (Starred Review, Publishers WeeklyA harrowing, enlightened first novel. . . . dense, potent language captures that sense of the unreal that, for a time, pulls people in mourning to feel closer to the dead than the living. . . . The language is fractured at times as her thoughts slide between terse poetry and lyricism. . . . An ingenious structure becomes visible below the narrator’s stream of consciousness. . . . Startlingly original and effective. (Matthew Jakubowski, Minneapolis Star-TribuneClaire Donato’s patient, immersive meditation on death and mourning designed in precise urn-like prose, Burial, fledges itself with the poise of Woolf or Loy or Carson; a kind of humming, marbled elegy for the as-yet-extant-alive, and like finding a real river in a dictionary. (Blake Butler) A full and vibrant illustration of the restless turns of a mind undergoing trauma. Language here serves both as escape and as a threat, at once suspect and yet the only consolation. In Burial, Donato makes and unmakes the world with words, and what is left shimmers with pain and delight. (Brian Evenson) Claire Donato’s assured and poetic debut augurs a promising career. (Benjamin Moser)

Donato’s hallucinatory meditation on grief seems like a strange summer read, but her poetic, trance-inducing language turns a reckoning with the confusion of mortality into readerly joy at the sensuality of living. Also, it’s small and fits in most pockets, so you can bring it pretty much everywhere, which I plan on doing and highly recommend. (“Best Summer Reads 2013,” Publishers Weekly, chosen by Alex Crowley) A dark, multivalent, genre-bending book…. Donato has composed with unrelenting, grotesque beauty an exhaustive recursive obsession about the unburiability of the dead, and the incomprehensibility of death. (Starred Review, Publishers WeeklyA harrowing, enlightened first novel. . . . dense, potent language captures that sense of the unreal that, for a time, pulls people in mourning to feel closer to the dead than the living. . . . The language is fractured at times as her thoughts slide between terse poetry and lyricism. . . . An ingenious structure becomes visible below the narrator’s stream of consciousness. . . . Startlingly original and effective. (Matthew Jakubowski, Minneapolis Star-TribuneClaire Donato’s patient, immersive meditation on death and mourning designed in precise urn-like prose, Burial, fledges itself with the poise of Woolf or Loy or Carson; a kind of humming, marbled elegy for the as-yet-extant-alive, and like finding a real river in a dictionary. (Blake Butler) A full and vibrant illustration of the restless turns of a mind undergoing trauma. Language here serves both as escape and as a threat, at once suspect and yet the only consolation. In Burial, Donato makes and unmakes the world with words, and what is left shimmers with pain and delight. (Brian Evenson) Claire Donato’s assured and poetic debut augurs a promising career. (Benjamin Moser)

Claire Donato in the Media

JOIN US at AWP 2017

Tarpaulin Sky Press joins Action Books, Calamari Archive, and Per Second Press. Featuring Aaron Apps, Amy King, Nat Baldwin, Claire Donato, Johannes Goransson, Elizabeth Hall, Brandon Hobson, Valerie Hsiung, Robert Lopez, Vi Khi Nao, Julie Reverb, Joanna Ruocco, and Abe Smith.

Soma Magica: Claire Donato, The Second Body

Making its debut in Assiah is TS Press novelist Claire Donato's stunning first collection of poems, The Second Body, brought to you by Poor Claudia. Watch this space for a review, and in the meantime, we encourage you to read an essay by Claire at the Poetry Society of America, meditating on the title poem from The Second Body.

Kind words…

...from Patrick Trotti at JMWW, regarding our three 2013 prose titles, from Claire Donato, Johannes Göransson, and Joyelle McSweeney: "Avant-garde writers of the past are put through a blender topped with equal parts muscle relaxer, speed, acid, and a new, distinct style forcing the reader to down the contents in one giant gulp. It will leave you feeling as though they just went speeding through a backyard makeshift house of mirrors ride that was rigged with no brakes, bending through the maze of tight corners to the point where you can the feel the sharp shards of glass on your forearm if you don’t keep your hand inside the ride that is their minds."

Claire Donato interviewed at Zing magazine

"Burial's world came about organically. The more I wrote the book, the more I felt as if its text possessed agency, and the more I recognized the text’s agency, the more my body was a vessel where its language could take root and become what it ended up being. This counteracts the traditional notion that the author’s mind is some grand source where language finds its origins. I was possessed by Burial, as in a fugue; its language was (and is) bigger than 'I.'"

Claire Donato's Burial reviewed at Mixer

Claire Donato's Burial is reviewed at Mixer, by Rebekah Hall, who calls Burial "a brave novel.... a raw and honest evocation of the personal experience and overwhelming power of grief."

Claire Donato's Burial receives starred review at Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly gives a starred review to Claire Donato's debut novella, Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2013) "Donato has composed with unrelenting, grotesque beauty an exhaustive recursive obsession about the unburiability of the dead, and the incomprehensibility of death."

Tarpaulin Sky Press announces Open Reading Period picks!

Tarpaulin Sky Press is pleased to announce that it has selected not one but two manuscripts from the 2010 open reading period: Claire Donato’s novel, Burial, and David Wolach’s poetry collection, Hospitalogy, both of which will be published in Spring 2013. Congrats!