Vincent Scarpa interviews Anna Journey for Electric Literature:
"Journey has a preternatural gift for artful swerving and associative shifting, so that—in the title essay, for example—a recollection of a breakdown and an ensuing call to a suicide hotline opens into a consideration of taxidermy and lyric time. In writing about her mother’s penchant for telling macabre stories at the dinner table, Journey makes a connection to campfire songs, and suddenly we’re delivered into a new space the essay has created to argue for the cultural importance of American roots music. And in providing the reader with a portrait of a tattoo artist named after a pirate-themed rum, Journey is concurrently turning our attention to the ways in which we inscribe our skins and spirits through the intimate gestures of ink. All of this without the work ever feeling as though Journey has her thumb on the scale, which is no small feat. This restraint is a mark of brilliance as well as an act of generosity. It’s a vote for the reader’s autonomy and an invitation to wonder and wander inside the latitudes laid out in the work; spaces in which Journey is both our cartographer and our fellow traveler."
Check out the full interview at Electric Lit here.
Anna Journey's debut essay collection, AN ARRANGEMENT OF SKIN is out today from Counterpoint.
It's been receiving some great early reviews:
"Zoos of antiquity, modern-day tattooed pirates, and ghost stories are all drawn together with Journey’s poetic talent... This is a retrospective that does not alienate with its personal tone. Rather, the reader is invited to reflect on a life’s many transitions and how they become part of the self." ―Booklist, starred review
"Reading the essays in Anna Journey’s elegant, haunting new collection, An Arrangement of Skin, is like cracking open a closet door and peering in to see a tight and private collection of oddities, secrets, and skeletons . . . These are intimate, delicate essays about the many skins we inhabit, illuminating even in their darkness." ―The Boston Globe
“‘Done with the compass, done with the chart!’ cried Emily Dickinson, tossing aside familiar ways of navigating the body’s wild seas. Anna Journey’s adventurous book traces what it is to be flesh in a surprising suite of essays that turns—like Ovid’s poems, or Plath’s—around images of dismemberment and metamorphosis. She might be our first Southern Gothic essayist, and she invigorates the form with both a poet's lyricism and the distinctive signature of her character: a vulnerable heart wedded to an acute, comic, unsparing eye.” —Mark Doty
"An Arrangement of Skin embodies what thrills me most in the essay form—an artist trying, over and over, to find the different paths into the subterranean realms of her subconscious. An early and unlikely image—taxidermy—contains the essence of the various tensions that connect these thoughts. For Journey, taxidermy 'evokes that ineffable spark of life: call it a soul, a personality, a sentience'. An Arrangement of Skin is by turns transformative and vital, and with it Journey takes her place alongside Biss, Jamison, and D’Ambrosio." – Nick Flynn
Victor Lodato's new novel, EDGAR & LUCY is out today from St. Martin's Press. It's been receiving some great advance praise:
“Through numerous changing viewpoints, the truth is gradually revealed, creating suspense and rewarding readers with unexpected parallels and touching connections. Lodato’s remarkable novel traces a broken family’s spiritual journey toward healing in moving, magical prose.” - Booklist (Starred)
"Flirting with danger on many fronts, this second novel from the author of the award-winning Mathilda Savitch is perceptive, compassionate, and humorous, drawing readers into the lives of these quirky yet recognizable and sympathetic characters." - Library Journal (Starred)
"Victor Lodato’s Edgar and Lucy is a strangely alluring saga that, with every turn of the page, lures the reader in with stunning writing and simmering tension." - Bookpage
"I love this book. At once profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific, Victor Lodato's Edgar and Lucy is an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity. The surprising prose is a pleasure, and never ceases to remind us how fragile human life is yet how unshakeable the bonds. Edgar and Lucy will have you reading til 4am, then reaching for the closest warm body." – Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl
"Edgar and Lucy is a quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder. Victor Lodato writes with lyrical precision and unfailing compassion for his characters." - Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers
Check out the excerpt in Granta here.
Phillip Lewis’s debut novel, THE BARROWFIELDS is out today from Hogarth. It’s been receiving some great early reviews:
“Charming, absorbing, and assured. . . . Lewis evokes his settings beautifully, and his prose is bracingly erudite. This debut has the ability to fully immerse its readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“The Barrowfields is a stunning debut novel rich in character and place, steeped in literature and music, and fraught with family drama. . . . With clear echoes of Poe and Wolfe, The Barrowfields also gives a nod to Richard Russo by reflecting an appreciation for the eccentricities of regional characters.” —Shelf Awareness
“Rich and complex. . . . Lewis is a master of creating a sense of place.” —Kirkus Reviews
Check out the excerpt at LitHub here.
Carolyn Forche has been awarded a 2017 Windham Campbell Prize in Poetry for work that "redefines lyric poetry through its attention to history and care for the world."
Read more at Windham Campbell here.