November 29, 2017

The launch for my new novel-with-photographs A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE is hosted by the beloved Collected Works Bookstore on December 12 at 6pm – along with the launch of James Reich’s newest book SOFT INVASIONS. Check out the listing here and the facebook invite here.  The readings will be followed by a Q&A and discussion moderated by Julia Goldberg, journalist and acclaimed nonfiction writer whose wit and lively appetite for digging into the guts of writers is unparalleled. 

Join us at Collected Works for a joint celebration of the publication of two novels by two audacious, iconoclastic writers: Quintan Ana Wikswo’s A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE and James Reich’s SOFT INVASIONS. The authors will be introduced by writer Julia Goldberg, who will also moderate a Q&A session following the readings.

A searing, sensual novel with photographs, A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be weaves together southern fabulism and gothic fury. At this devil’s crossroads of the King James Bible and the Egyptian Book of the Dead emerge the ghosts and realities of sex, race, violence in haunting exhumations of half-buried secrets. Quintan Ana Wikswo pulls at the restless, volatile threads of seditious American iconoclasts Zora Neale Hurston, Patti Smith, Cormac McCarthy, and Toni Morrison.

Wikswo’s unforgettable and relentless reinvestigation of the American soul unfolds on the unruly, mixed-race, queer-sexed margins of a conservative 1930s Southern town. In the wake of abandonment by her husband, an impoverished young midwife and her twin daughters create a hospice and sanctuary for the town’s outcasts within a deserted antebellum plantation house. The twins inhabit a fantastical world of ancient resistances, macabre births, glorious deaths, ravenous love affairs, clandestine sorceries, and secret madnesses—a site where the legacies of catastrophic injustice, bigotry, brutality, and grief contend with unquenchable desires for restitution and freedom.

Los Angeles, 1942. Psychoanalyst Maxwell McKinney and his wife Joan await the return of their son after the sinking of the USS Yorktown. With sections of the city under camouflage and ordinances against “enemy aliens,” McKinney is troubled by his ambivalent feelings for his son and fears that California will be invaded by the Japanese. A chance encounter with a man who appears to be his double, a screenwriter named Sid Starr, allows McKinney to confront his guilt. Entwined with McKinney, Starr finds that his own identity is at stake, and between the two, McKinney’s wife and son fight against their own destruction.

Punctuating great American fears, James Reich targets the zones of recent history where worlds and anxieties collide, among them UFOs, the Battle of Midway, Hollywood, psychoanalysis and Japanese internment. Soft Invasions is an existential thriller about cowardice, cruelty and betrayal that invokes David Cronenberg’s body-horror classics as well as the cold California glamor of Joan Didion, the ominous noir of Horace McCoy and the psychic angst of Norman Mailer.

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