Novels & Fiction Collections | Tarpaulin Sky Press

Tarpaulin Sky Press
Novels & Fiction Collections

Order directly from Tarpaulin Sky Press and enjoy free shipping in the U.S. as well as guaranteed lower prices than a certain nightmarish company whose name we shan’t utter.

Bookstores, libraries, and organizations: order here.

Order directly from Tarpaulin Sky Press and enjoy free shipping in the U.S. as well as guaranteed lower prices than a certain nightmarish company whose name we shan’t utter. Bookstores, libraries, and organizations: order here.

Rebecca Brown: Not Heaven, Somewhere Else

Rebecca Brown’s thirteenth book is narrative cycle that revamps old fairy tales, movies, and myths, as it leads us from where we are to where we might go. Praise for Not Heaven, Somewhere Else: "It feels dangerous and exciting, like if (Brown) puts her big brain to it long enough, she could completely rewrite the story of who we are." (Seattle Review of Books) "Highly recommended and highly rewarding." (The Stranger) Praise for Rebecca Brown: "Strange and wonderful...Brown strips language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rituals of love and need." (The New York Times) "Simply one of the best contemporary lesbian writers around." (Dorothy Allison) "America's only real rock ‘n’ roll schoolteacher." (Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth)

Steven Dunn: water & power

A Small Press Distribution Fiction Bestseller

Navy veteran Steven Dunn’s second novel plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism. water & power is a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives. "Dunn’s remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction." (Nikki Wallschlaeger) Dunn unrelentingly captures the difficult, funny, abject, exhilarating, heartbreaking and maddening aspects of Navy life, both on and off duty. Read this book and understand the veterans in your life better ... complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human." (Khadijah Queen)

Kim Parko: The Grotesque Child

Co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award

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.

Dana Green: Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing

Co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award

Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing explores how storytelling changes with each iteration, each explosion, each mutation. Told through multiple versions, these are stories of weapons testing, sheep that can herd themselves into watercolors, and a pregnant woman whose water breaks every day for nine months. “I love Dana Green’s wild mind” (Noy Holland). “A tour de force of deeply destabilizing investigation into language and self” (Laird Hunt). “Dana Green’s bracing debut .. reminds us every ordinary moment, every ordinary sentence, is an impending emergency” (Lance Olsen).

Steven Dunn: Potted Meat

Finalist, Colorado Book Award
Co-winner, Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards
A Small Press Distribution Bestseller

"101 pages of miniature texts that keep tapping the nails in, over and over, while speaking as clearly and directly as you could ask…. Zero indulgence, all formative. Bone Thugs, underage drinking, alienation, death, love, Bob Ross, dreams of blood: This thin thing is flooded with power." (Blake Butler, VICE) "This book needs to be read." (Laird Hunt) "A remarkable piece of work. Rarely does one encounter a book so evocative of place and so bracing in its ability to transform the quotidian into revelation." (Kevin Powers) "I feel grateful to be alive during the time in which he writes books (Selah Saterstrom).

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).

Joyelle McSweeney: Salamandrine: 8 Gothics

A collection of short stories by Joyelle McSweeney, refracting the dread and isolation of contemporary life through a series of formal/generic lenses, producing a distorted, attenuated, spasmatic experience of time, as accompanies motherhood; making impossible any thinking in terms of conventional temporalities or even causalities, let alone their narrative effects. "McSweeney’s breakneck prose harnesses the throbbing pulse of language itself." (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY); "sexy teleological apocrypha of motherhood literature, a siren song for those mothers 'with no soul to photograph'" (BROOKLYN RAIL); "These words ring and richochet like tinnitus in your ears" (QUARTERLY WEST); "One would not make love to a Salamandrine during a sandstorm" (ALEISTER CROWLEY)

Johannes Göransson: 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)

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)

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)

Johannes Göransson: 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)

Sarah Goldstein: Fables

Departing from the Brothers Grimm to approach our own economically and socially fractured present, Fables constructs a world defined by small betrayals, transformations, and brutality amid its animal and human inhabitants. Goldstein weaves together familiar and contemporary allegories creating a series of vibrant, and vital, tales for our time. “Goldstein’s vision and approach is wholly new. Her work in this collection is more than translation and transcription: Fables contains poems that whisper tradition but fully stand on their own.” (THE IOWA REVIEW); "Horrifying and humbling in their imaginative precision" (THE RUMPUS); “In the meadow of fairy tale, Goldstein unrolls ribbons of story that fly gamely and snap with brilliance.” (DEB OLIN UNFERTH)

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)

Joanna Ruocco: Man’s Companions

Joanna Ruocco's first short-fiction collection, Man's Companions, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: "Find yourself warped from one world to another, transported by the flight of her words between languages" (THE NATION); "Ruocco's understated humor and irony have a playful, experimental appeal" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY); "Early Lydia Davis seems not unfairly applicable, as does Amy Hempel" (ART + CULTURE); "Ruocco is consistently inventive. She tilts the world as we know it, challenging our senses" (TRIQUARTERLY)

Traci O. Connor: Recipes for Endangered Species

Traci O Connor's debut collection of short fictions, Recipes for Endangered Species (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010): "These stories constitute some tender, aching love stories. Connor's characters are curious specimens who don't quite fit in, but have rich inner lives.... Creepy, Hitchcockian..... Juxtaposes vivid descriptions of flowers with excerpts from the painter's late asylum notebooks to evoke the chilling stream-of-consciousness of a troubled narrator..... A kind of nut job's notebook, full of Lolita-like obsession (including photographs). Cocktail recipes conclude each of the stories in this varied and occasionally unnerving debut collection." (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

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)

Joyelle McSweeney: Nylund, the Sarcographer

Acclaimed poet Joyelle McSweeney's first novel, Nylund the Sarcographer (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007) is a something like a baroque noir: "Campy-cum-lyrical post-Ashberyan prose.... Language dissolves into stream-of-consanguinity post-surrealism and then resolves into a plot again.... Recommended" (STEPHEN BURT); "Nylund is like interesting on steroids.... If you are looking for a typical, straight forward, good old fashioned yarn, you’d do best to look elsewhere; but if you want to experience something fresh, daring, creepy, and significant, this is the one for you" (BOOKSLUT); "a masterful redefinition of what constitutes prose.... A character who is the very embodiment of writing" (NEWPAGES); "Welcome to fiction's new femme fatale, Joyelle McSweeney" (KATE BERNHEIMER)

Danielle Dutton: Attempts at a Life

Danielle Dutton's debut short-fiction collection, Attempts at a Life, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: "Danielle Dutton writes with a deft explosiveness that craters the page with stunning, unsettling precision" (LAIRD HUNT); "Danielle Dutton executes expert, miniscule language slips that make us slide down the surface of her narratives like raindrops streaking the windows of the last un-gentrified house in an old Victorian neighborhood.... An important new literary voice" (RAIN TAXI); "It’s serious, but as many dramatists celebrate: comedy orbits a dark sun. Which is to say, this is also a very funny book" (AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW)

Jenny Boully: [one love affair]*

Jenny Boully's one love affair (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2006) meditates on mud daubers, Duras, and the deaths of mentally ill and drug-addicted lovers, blurring fiction, essay, and memoir in an extended prose poem that is as much a study of how we read as it is a treatise on the language of love affairs: a language of hidden messages, coded words, cryptic gestures, and suspicion: "I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a way into the “trans-genre” of prose poetry." (OPEN LETTERS MONTHLY); "Boully’s sentences are a joy in and of themselves" (RATTLE); "A genre-bending back-pocket book.... Gritty and intellectual ... addictive and soothing ... fitting for just about anyone’s bookshelf.... You’re reading the book for second, third, and fourth time." (COLDFRONT)

Rebecca Brown: Not Heaven, Somewhere Else

Rebecca Brown’s thirteenth book is narrative cycle that revamps old fairy tales, movies, and myths, as it leads us from where we are to where we might go. Praise for Not Heaven, Somewhere Else: "It feels dangerous and exciting, like if (Brown) puts her big brain to it long enough, she could completely rewrite the story of who we are." (Seattle Review of Books) "Highly recommended and highly rewarding." (The Stranger) Praise for Rebecca Brown: "Strange and wonderful...Brown strips language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rituals of love and need." (The New York Times) "Simply one of the best contemporary lesbian writers around." (Dorothy Allison) "America's only real rock ‘n’ roll schoolteacher." (Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth)

Steven Dunn: water & power

A Small Press Distribution Fiction Bestseller

Navy veteran Steven Dunn’s second novel plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism. water & power is a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives. "Dunn’s remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction." (Nikki Wallschlaeger) Dunn unrelentingly captures the difficult, funny, abject, exhilarating, heartbreaking and maddening aspects of Navy life, both on and off duty. Read this book and understand the veterans in your life better ... complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human." (Khadijah Queen)

Kim Parko: The Grotesque Child

Co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award

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.

Dana Green: Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing

Co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award

Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing explores how storytelling changes with each iteration, each explosion, each mutation. Told through multiple versions, these are stories of weapons testing, sheep that can herd themselves into watercolors, and a pregnant woman whose water breaks every day for nine months. “I love Dana Green’s wild mind” (Noy Holland). “A tour de force of deeply destabilizing investigation into language and self” (Laird Hunt). “Dana Green’s bracing debut .. reminds us every ordinary moment, every ordinary sentence, is an impending emergency” (Lance Olsen).

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