Hunting Season
by Julia Brennan

Novel. Paperback. 174 pp. July 2020.

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Julia Brennan’s debut novel, Hunting Season, is part auto-fiction, part lyric essay, part lament, part film journal, part performance, and part exorcism. Challenging traditional victim/perpetrator narratives, Hunting Season is an intimate investigation into the ways we learn to love and wound.

Julia Brennan’s debut novel, Hunting Season, is part auto-fiction, part lyric essay, part lament, part film journal, part performance, and part exorcism. Challenging traditional victim/perpetrator narratives, Hunting Season is an intimate investigation into the ways we learn to love and wound.

“A kind of fortress: elaborately constructed, designed to protect and to withstand the dangers that are everywhere around us. An imaginative, frightening and heartbreaking tour de force.” (CAROLE MASO) “Brennan’s cinematic fiction moves through the vignette-influenced narrative landscape with an expression of loneliness like a rifle flung over the hard shoulder of postmodern storytelling: you never know when her rifle will go off, leaving you bruised, cut in halves or quarters, or heartbroken. Hunting Season is ‘a slow amputation’ of love, film, disaster, agony, tamed or nonchalant sadomasochism and sexual fantasies…. Come here and let her destroy you. Tenderly.” (VI KHI NAO)Hunting Season frees the bildungsroman from its orthodox chronologies and wearisome protagonists. As in Ferrante, we see a woman artist come of age. She comes of age, ages, travels back, comes again. How best to repurpose an education in patriarchy? Like Ferrante, or Amina Cain, Eugene Lim, or Cristina Rivera Garza, Julia Brennan refuses to sacrifice to the gods of narrative arc. Hunting Season plots in phenomenological ecotones, those sites produced in the connective tissue between mothers and children, hunters and prey, lovers and lover’s ghosts, or the multiple paramours of a single artist. Reading in the close space between these orbiting bodies, we ask what might be the nearest document to experience itself. Is it the house in which we store one or two perfect memories or the body in which we store every perfect feeling? Is it the shaky diary entry, the shaky video posted to YouTube? A young girls shakes when she kills a first deer. The artist shakes.” (DANIELLE PAFUNDA)

“A kind of fortress: elaborately constructed, designed to protect and to withstand the dangers that are everywhere around us. An imaginative, frightening and heartbreaking tour de force.” (CAROLE MASO) “Brennan’s cinematic fiction moves through the vignette-influenced narrative landscape with an expression of loneliness like a rifle flung over the hard shoulder of postmodern storytelling: you never know when her rifle will go off, leaving you bruised, cut in halves or quarters, or heartbroken. Hunting Season is ‘a slow amputation’ of love, film, disaster, agony, tamed or nonchalant sadomasochism and sexual fantasies…. Come here and let her destroy you. Tenderly.” (VI KHI NAO)Hunting Season frees the bildungsroman from its orthodox chronologies and wearisome protagonists. As in Ferrante, we see a woman artist come of age. She comes of age, ages, travels back, comes again. How best to repurpose an education in patriarchy? Like Ferrante, or Amina Cain, Eugene Lim, or Cristina Rivera Garza, Julia Brennan refuses to sacrifice to the gods of narrative arc. Hunting Season plots in phenomenological ecotones, those sites produced in the connective tissue between mothers and children, hunters and prey, lovers and lover’s ghosts, or the multiple paramours of a single artist. Reading in the close space between these orbiting bodies, we ask what might be the nearest document to experience itself. Is it the house in which we store one or two perfect memories or the body in which we store every perfect feeling? Is it the shaky diary entry, the shaky video posted to YouTube? A young girls shakes when she kills a first deer. The artist shakes.” (DANIELLE PAFUNDA)

Julia Brennan

Julia Brennan is a writer and performer from central New York. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she won the Frances Mason Harris ’26 manuscript award. Her work has been published in Hotel Amerika, Big Big Wednesday, and Gulf Coast, among other publications. Her debut novel, Hunting Season, won the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award. Julia lives and teaches in the high desert of Albuquerque, NM.

Julia Brennan

Julia Brennan is a writer and performer from central New York. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she won the Frances Mason Harris ’26 manuscript award. Her work has been published in Hotel Amerika, Big Big Wednesday, and Gulf Coast, among other publications. Her debut novel, Hunting Season, won the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award. Julia lives and teaches in the high desert of Albuquerque, NM.