by Henry Hoke
published May 2017 – Fiction
About the Book:
“When I was little I wanted my name to be Genevieve. Genevieve was the best name on the playground because when I tripped or got pushed down it helped me up. And when I was up, the playground was clearer, weirder. I always told the teacher that I was glad to have Genevieve in my class and the teacher always made sure to tell me there was no one with that name.”
A shape-shifting presence named Genevieve unites these nine surreal stories, haunting the characters as they transcend and escape the traps of the everyday. Visions carried over from childlike desire and imagination start to manifest in adulthood.
A script supervisor encounters a spectral film extra that no one else can see, a teenager finds a severed toe on a vanishing island, and a woman reunites with her sister, who happens to be a weapon of mass destruction. Those anomalies only scratch the surface of these formally adventurous contemporary ghost stories. In the mysteries that wake us up only to show us a new dream, Genevieve exists.
“In Genevieves, Henry Hoke conjures up a beautiful yet broken America haunted by lost dreams and childhood secrets, but most of all haunted by language. The lyrical stories explore a space somewhere between Anne Carson and David Lynch. Written largely in crystallized fragments of prose, the stories are strung together like glittering and strange necklaces. When you look closely, you realize what you thought were plastic beads are actually bits of Halloween candy and the bones of birds. Try these stories on and see the world in a new way.”
“The stories in Genevieves flit and flirt about the edges of different genres. Quirky and quietly unruly, these are the kinds of pieces Djuna Barnes might have written if she’d been born in the South on the verge of the 21st century.”
“Henry Hoke pushes the button on literary convention in this fierce and funny collection. Genevieves is a weapon of mass re-creation that will take you to the highest point in the haunted levels of language.”
“Witty, startling, even macabre, Genevieves is attuned to the nonexistent, and yet is so tethered to what is real, right in front of us, peeled back, laid bare, remarkably precise. The specters of this book index something just outside the periphery, questioning our relationship with the real. Sometimes alarming, sometimes telepathic, this is a stunning work.”
About the Author:
Henry Hoke was a child in the South and an adult in New York and California. He authored The Book of Endless Sleepovers (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016) and Genevieves (Subito Press, 2017). Some of his stories appear in Winter Tangerine, PANK, 7×7 and Carve. He co-created and directs Enter>text, a living literary journal.
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