Joanna Ruocco

ruocco-gunshowJoanna Ruocco is the author of Man’s Companions, published by Tarpaulin Sky Press, as well as A Compendium of Domestic Incidents (Noemi Press) and the novel The Mothering Coven (Ellipsis Press).

Winner of the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, judged by Ben Marcus, Joanna’s forthcoming book from FC2 is Another Governess/The Least Blacksmith-A Diptych.

Joanna co-edits Birkensnake, a fiction journal. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

Books by Joanna Ruocco

ruocco-companions-coverMan’s Companions

Short fictions
6″x8″, 144 pages, paperback
May 2010

$14 includes shipping in the U.S.
(vs. $15 + $3.99 elsewhere)

Using language by turns digressive, obsessive, overblown, romantic, fickle, and mundane, the fictions in Man’s Companions are mongrel, troubling the genus of story with miscegenations and mutations, and at the heart of the book is the figure of the anima non grata, the unwanted woman, a degraded version of man.

“Ruocco restores the power of a familiar [feminist] critique by rendering it uncanny…. When you read her stories, you find yourself warped from one world to another, transported by the flight of her words between languages” (David Carroll Simon, The Nation); “Ruocco’s understated humor and irony have a playful, experimental appeal” (Publishers Weekly); “Ruocco is consistently inventive. She tilts the world as we know it, challenging our senses” (Hana Park, TriQuarterly); “Early Lydia Davis seems not unfairly applicable, as does Amy Hempel” (Ben Gottlieb, Art + Culture); “A wry book that combines the obsessive music of Lydia Davis and the stripped precision of Muriel Spark, Man’s Companions is not to be missed” (Brian Evenson); “Reading this work I imagine what it must have been like for people reading Donald Barthelme for the first time, that fully formed stylist suddenly sprung as if from nothing” (Danielle Dutton)

READ MORE ABOUT MAN’S COMPANIONS

All Posts for Joanna Ruocco

Joanna Ruocco interviewed at BOMB

Ruocco discusses all her “literary” works (blah blah blah) — *Man’s Companions* (TS 2010) among them — but to our throbbing delight, she also offers a peak into her blossoming pseudonymous career(s) as romance writers Toni Jones (*No Secrets in Spandex*) and Alessandra Shahbaz (*Midnight Flame*), which makes us swoon — and also makes us wonder why we haven’t already launched a genre imprint.

In a rut? Try Joanna Ruocco’s *Dan*

As our catalog makes obvious, Danielle Dutton and Joanna Ruocco are two of our favorite writers, and publishing their books was all the awesomeness we’d hoped to find in this life. But now the former is publishing a new book by the latter, and it’s like Santa Claus opened up his bag and out popped the Easter Bunny.

Image of Joanna Ruocco's book, Man's Companions

The Nation features Joanna Ruocco and Man's Companions

The Nation features Joanna Ruocco and *Man’s Companions*, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: “Ruocco delivers something stranger than banal moralizing. In the final paragraph, she steers the narrative into foreign territory, and the weirdness of her conclusion is doubled by her ability to meet and then flout expectations with a single gesture, offering up the anticipated feminist insights in the least predictable fashion…. Ruocco restores the power of a familiar critique by rendering it uncanny….. When you read her stories, you find yourself warped from one world to another, transported by the flight of her words between languages.”

Image of Joanna Ruocco's book, Man's Companions

Joanna Ruocco's Man's Companions reviewed at Word Riot

At Word Riot, Kevin Kane reviews Joanna Ruocco’s *Man’s Companions*: “Powerful and compact…. The story collection presents short tales that pleasantly sated my hunger. Yet, every time I set the book down or even closed the cover, I had to go back for more, unable to tear myself completely away. These stories by Ruocco necessitate time and re-reading, making this short volume well worth exploration.”

Image of Joanna Ruocco's book, Man's Companions

Art + Culture reviews Joanna Ruocco's Man's Companions

Ben Gottlieb, writing for Art + Culture, reviews Joanna Ruoco’s *Man’s Companions*, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: “Early Lydia Davis seems not unfairly applicable, as does Amy Hempel, not merely for their separately singular abilities to convey a tremendous amount of information and a great emotional range with an economy of text, but also for the alternately insouciant and piercingly human wit with which they do so.”

Image of Joanna Ruocco's book, Man's Companions

Publishers Weekly reviews Joanna Ruocco's Man's Companions

Publishers Weekly reviews Joanna Ruocco’s *Man’s Companions* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010): “Thirty-one brief, clever tales from the author of The Mothering Coven employ traits from the animal kingdom to underscore absurdities in the human species. ‘Lemmings,’ for example, features a desultory dialogue between two lovers who debate the better ‘iconic’ location to jump from—the Space Needle or the Empire State Building. . . . Satisfyingly developed…. The nuttily obtuse ‘Flying Monkeys,’ [features] a rarely intersecting conversation between two women onboard an airplane that reveals how the women—former best friends who happen to sit next to each other—can’t stand each other. . . . Ruocco’s understated humor and irony have a playful, experimental appeal.”

Tarpaulin Sky Literary Journal Issue #15 / Print Issue #2

Cover art by Brandon Downing. Featuring work by Aidan Thompson, Amber Nelson, Andrew Michael Roberts, Bernard Noël, Blake Butler, Brian Henry, Brigitte Byrd, Cal Freeman, Corey Mesler, Dan Thomas-Glass, Erin Lyndal Martin, George Kalamaras, Gregory Howard, Heather Green, Jamey Dunham, Jess Neiweem, Jill Magi, Joanna Ruocco, Jonah Winter, Kim Gek Lin Short, Kristen E. Nelson, Kristi Maxwell, Laynie Browne, Mark Cunningham, Megan Martin, Michael Clearwater, Michael Rerick, Patrick Morrissey, Peter Davis, Rae Gouirand, Rauan Klassnik, Richard Froude, Rob Cook, Sara Veglahn, and Tim Roberts.