by Jessica Alexander
to be published November 2017 – Fiction
About the Book
A woman discovers a hand in the garden, a wrist in the sink, and resigns herself to stand by and watch as her lover reduces herself to an eyeball. Dear Enemy, is a collection of twenty-one depraved tales. A dead family strokes their rage while wandering in and out of other family photographs. Another woman wrestles with marital ambivalence as a bear carries her husband off their front porch and into a nearby forest. These stories are haunted by strange, inexplicable, and sinister yearnings. With the terse simplicity of fairy tales, Dear Enemy, warps familiar fictional forms and serves a vision as intimate as it is alien.
In Dear Enemy, Jessica Alexander rips the curtains off the windows of normalcy so we see it plainly, without its accoutrements, and then decorates it with something else. These stories are outlandish, uncanny, and telling in the best possible ways.
Dear Enemy, announces the arrival of an important new voice on the American innovative writing scene—crazy smart, self-aware, energetic, impishly irreverent, and one that takes the broken-backed genre, the impossible liaison, as ways of being in the world, even as the real protagonist of these narrative non-sequiturs remains language: bright, startling, always skewing language.
Dear Enemy, asks the enemy of linearity for bananas of Salinger-like singularity. The terse voice and style of Jessica Alexander responds back by splitting the lampooned medium of storytelling into eccentric, easygoing traumatic binaries: meta Priscilla & Luke, potato & chicken, husband & wife, separation & expression, mother & child, houses & headaches, rectum & hand, Peter & Paul, yes & no, city cowboy & country cowboy. With a matchbook of stimulating quirky literary devices, Jessica Alexander is ready with her Dear Enemy, to light up our hair, our brain, the striking surface of our ignorant taste on fire. She is prepared to turn mothers into a flock of pigeons and obnoxious, drunken people into flames and deaths. Here, she welcomes us into her parodic world of reduction, literature without blinking intermissions, doubts, apologies, or orgies, characters with just enough sexual perversion. She is ready to toss our consciousness into the air, insists that it returns to earth, and becomes an eyeball she has fashioned from the limps of her distinctive vision.
-VI KHI NAO
About the Author
Jessica Alexander teaches creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College. Her fiction can be found in Fence, DIAGRAM, Denver Quarterly, Psychopomp, and Dreginald, among other places.
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