Nylund, The Sarcographer
by Joyelle McSweeney

A Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Novel. 132 pages. Paperback. 2007

Read excerpts in Tarpaulin Sky | Typo Magazine | H_NGM_N | 2nd Avenue Poetry | Fairy Tale Review | /nor

$14.00Add to cart

Nylund, the Sarcographer is a baroque noir. Its eponymous protagonist is a loner who tries to comprehend everything from the outside, like a sarcophagus, and with analogously ornate results. The method by which the book was written, and by which Nylund experiences the world, is thus called sarcography. Sarcography is like negative capability on steroids; this ultra-susceptibility entangles Nylund in both a murder plot and a plot regarding his missing sister, Daisy. As the murder plot places Nylund in increasing physical danger, his sensuous memories become more present than the present itself.

Nylund, The Sarcographer
by Joyelle McSweeney

A Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Novel. 132 pages. Paperback. 2007

Read excerpts in Tarpaulin Sky | Typo Magazine | H_NGM_N | 2nd Avenue Poetry | Fairy Tale Review | /nor

$14.00Add to cart

Nylund, the Sarcographer is a baroque noir. Its eponymous protagonist is a loner who tries to comprehend everything from the outside, like a sarcophagus, and with analogously ornate results. The method by which the book was written, and by which Nylund experiences the world, is thus called sarcography. Sarcography is like negative capability on steroids; this ultra-susceptibility entangles Nylund in both a murder plot and a plot regarding his missing sister, Daisy. As the murder plot places Nylund in increasing physical danger, his sensuous memories become more present than the present itself.

Flights of campy-cum-lyrical post-Ashberyan prose…. Language dissolves into stream-of-consanguinity post-surrealism and then resolves into a plot again…. Recommended. (Stephen Burt, Harriet) The opposite of boring, an ominous conflagration devouring the bland terrain of conventional realism…. Other than the incomparable Ben Marcus, I’m not sure anyone in contemporary letters can compete with the voracity of ingenuity, complexity, and beauty of McSweeney’s usage. (Christopher Higgs, Bookslut) McSweeney has not only created a unique concept – that of sarcography – she has illustrated it memorably with a masterful redefinition of what constitutes prose, and created a character who is the very embodiment of writing, reminding us of how flexible the narrative form can be. (Cynthia Reeser, New PagesIf Vladimir Nabokov wanted to seduce Nancy Drew, he’d read her Nylund one dark afternoon over teacups of whiskey. Welcome to fiction’s new femme fatale, Joyelle McSweeney. (Kate Bernheimer) If Wallace Stevens had written a novel it might have come close to Joyelle McSweeney’s Nylund, the Sarcographer. But any imagined effort of Mr. Stevens would pale next to Nylund’s journey through the butterflied joinery of syntax, the jerry-rigged joy of this tour de joist. And you thought you knew your own language. This book hands it back to you on a platter and includes the instructional manual for its further use. (Michael Martone)

Flights of campy-cum-lyrical post-Ashberyan prose…. Language dissolves into stream-of-consanguinity post-surrealism and then resolves into a plot again…. Recommended. (Stephen Burt, Harriet) The opposite of boring, an ominous conflagration devouring the bland terrain of conventional realism…. Other than the incomparable Ben Marcus, I’m not sure anyone in contemporary letters can compete with the voracity of ingenuity, complexity, and beauty of McSweeney’s usage. (Christopher Higgs, Bookslut) McSweeney has not only created a unique concept – that of sarcography – she has illustrated it memorably with a masterful redefinition of what constitutes prose, and created a character who is the very embodiment of writing, reminding us of how flexible the narrative form can be. (Cynthia Reeser, New PagesIf Vladimir Nabokov wanted to seduce Nancy Drew, he’d read her Nylund one dark afternoon over teacups of whiskey. Welcome to fiction’s new femme fatale, Joyelle McSweeney. (Kate Bernheimer) If Wallace Stevens had written a novel it might have come close to Joyelle McSweeney’s Nylund, the Sarcographer. But any imagined effort of Mr. Stevens would pale next to Nylund’s journey through the butterflied joinery of syntax, the jerry-rigged joy of this tour de joist. And you thought you knew your own language. This book hands it back to you on a platter and includes the instructional manual for its further use. (Michael Martone)

About the Author

Joyelle McSweeney is a poet, prose writer, playwright, critic and publisher. With Tarpaulin Sky Press she has published a baroque noir entitled Nylund, the Sarcographer (2007) as well as a collection of prose, Salamandrine: 8 Gothics (2013). McSweeney’s forthcoming poetry volume, Toxicon, will be published by Nightboat Books in 2019. McSweeney’s other recent books include The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults, a collection of poetics essays proposing a decadent ecopetics for our age of decay (University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series, 2015); Percussion Grenade, a volume of poems including the infernal verse play, “Contagious Knives” (2012); and the ecopoetic farce Dead Youth, or, the Leaks (Litmus Press, 2014), a denatured version of The Tempest which won of the inaugural Leslie Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Performance Artists. Her first poetry collection, The Red Bird, was chosen by Allen Grossman to inaugurate the Fence Modern Poets Series in 2002; her second, The Commandrine and Other Poems, featured her first verse play (Fence, 2004). Also published by Fence is her lyric sci-fi novel Flet (Fence, 2008). McSweeney is co-founder and co-publisher of Action Books, an international press for poetry and translation. The press focuses on modern and contemporary works from Latin America, Asia, the US and Europe.

About the Author

Joyelle McSweeney is a poet, prose writer, playwright, critic and publisher. With Tarpaulin Sky Press she has published a baroque noir entitled Nylund, the Sarcographer (2007) as well as a collection of prose, Salamandrine: 8 Gothics (2013). McSweeney’s forthcoming poetry volume, Toxicon, will be published by Nightboat Books in 2019. McSweeney’s other recent books include The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults, a collection of poetics essays proposing a decadent ecopetics for our age of decay (University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series, 2015); Percussion Grenade, a volume of poems including the infernal verse play, “Contagious Knives” (2012); and the ecopoetic farce Dead Youth, or, the Leaks (Litmus Press, 2014), a denatured version of The Tempest which won of the inaugural Leslie Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Performance Artists. Her first poetry collection, The Red Bird, was chosen by Allen Grossman to inaugurate the Fence Modern Poets Series in 2002; her second, The Commandrine and Other Poems, featured her first verse play (Fence, 2004). Also published by Fence is her lyric sci-fi novel Flet (Fence, 2008). McSweeney is co-founder and co-publisher of Action Books, an international press for poetry and translation. The press focuses on modern and contemporary works from Latin America, Asia, the US and Europe.