ONGOING PRAISE & PRESS FOR “THE HOPE OF FLOATING HAS CARRIED US THIS FAR”

July 10, 2017

HOF final front cover

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“In these stories, author and visual artist Wikswo’s juxtaposes dreamy, surreal prose with shadowed, ambiguous, occluded dreamscapes to haunting effect. Her stories defy narrative and instead read like a series of short poems or incantations—heady, euphoric, and full with loss.”

Wikswo’s singular lines strike like the tone of a bell, resonating across pages, while her beautifully composed images echo the surprising twists of language: ghosts “more trout than human,” a shadow that resembles a “camel. A monkey puzzle tree. A quail.” The stories defy genre or distillation and instead take the reader on a journey where myth, mystery, and the impossible have never seemed more real.”
Publisher’s Weekly / Click here to read the full review. 


 

STAR TRIBUNE
“There’s an art to the arrangement of words and images in “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far,” Quintan Ana Wikswo’s new collection. It’s more than the way authors like W.G. Sebald, Jesse Ball and Teju Cole have used photographs to punctuate and accentuate the narratives they write; there’s a sense of collage here, of the images being used to state things where words no longer suffice.”
– Star Tribune 
read it here


 

REVIEW 31
The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a magnificent work and is perhaps the most original collection of fiction I have read in a long while. These stories stretch and bend its reader as they come off the page at times like artefacts and at other times like something organic and muddy, made of bone and throbbing with an indefatigable bloodstream. They are stories that love order, beauty and anomalies. Their vibrant (and at times primal) prose pushes to find something new in writing and art, and Wikswo refuses to repose into exhaustion or fashionable politics. But don’t forget the impressionistic illustrations. These images linked to stories that are at once enigmatic and yet emotionally relatable take this book into a realm all its own.” – Jason DeYoung READ THE FULL REVIEW IN REVIEW 31 HERE 


 

THE RUMPUS
“Desire bends the world with transmogrifying persistence in Wikswo’s debut collection, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, until the reality we thought we knew erodes into the background of a whorling landscape rife with longing. The tragedy of embodiment, of our inherent separation from one another, permeates a text whose protagonists strive to rewrite the rules of creation, that it might contain a space where they can love. It is no wonder, then, that the text obliterates boundaries of form, structure, genre, and medium like a typhoon.”

“The speakers themselves mostly elude gender identification, rooting themselves in a sensuality and eroticism that transcend performative gender binaries along with increasingly outmoded delineations of sexual form. In the spirit of Virginia Woolf, who wrote nearly a century ago that a writer must be “a woman manly or a man womanly,” and the lineage of writers such as Jeanette Winterson who freely demote gender assignment to a status outside the frame, Wikswo abnegates ingrained categorizations of gender and sexuality in the interest of more unbounded explorations of how desire comes to inhabit—or even possess—the self. What is love, and what obsession? these pieces ask. How does violence imprint on the physical body; how does the body imprint on the metaphysical realm?” – Erin Wilcox, The Rumpus Read the rest of the review HERE in the Rumpus! 


 

VOL. 1 BROOKLYN
“Each sentence is a shaman holy enough to regard the stanza as a pair of shackles, or a superfluous control mechanism.”
– Craig Foltz CLICK HERE TO READ CRAIG FOLTZ’S REVIEW IN VOL. 1


CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Quintan Ana Wikswo’s strange and haunting debut, “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far” is less like a book of stories and more like a museum installation. Surrounded by and broken up with white space and interspersed with Wikswo’s own dim and spectral photographs, each of the 10 stories in the collection feels crafted into a distinctive object and thoughtfully presented, practically hung on a wall for the audience’s contemplation. This makes for an unconventional reading experience that is as visual as it is verbal. . .  in Wikswo’s book, the text and paratext are equally deliberate and interesting, and are, as befits a cross-genre artist, difficult to separate.  . . The stories and photographs in this book are similarly uncommon, tempting the audience to explore their translucency and from there to delve into the eerie depths beneath their surfaces.”
– The Chicago Tribune read the full review here (a pop-up window gives the option to enter your email and read the article for free)


ELECTRIC LITERATURE

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s debut book of stories and images, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, is an intoxicating read that feels at once universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy, and after reading it once I read it immediately again. And then I read it again. And then I couldn’t stop recommending it to everyone I know.

The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a successfully ambitious bending of form that takes the reader beyond the expected in both literature and art. There’s a lot of bending in Wikswo’s work—time, form, genre, narrative, historical record—which encourages the reader to explore the territories we may not have encountered in more familiar forms of story collection. As she says, a “disruption in the familiar invokes a questioning of the habitual.”

Wikswo writes stories from these places, attempting to put words to the places themselves and the peoples who’ve inhabited them, bridging in her work the liminality of human experiences, making stories that read like poems with images that don’t serve to illustrate the text, but to deepen a reader’s feel of it. – Sarah Dohrman, ELECTRIC LITERATURE read the full review HERE


 

LA WEEKLY CRITIC’S PICK

The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is the acclaimed new book of words and images by Quintan Ana Wikswo, an artist and writer who has never limited herself to only one medium and certainly not to two dimensions. Although the foundation of the book is her sparkling prose, the accompanying visual art is just as integral to the story, itself a meditation on the discomfort of “painfully restrictive Newtonian physics” and the quest to escape the torments of human desire by finding solace in a parallel universe. In that spirit, her book tour is more than a series of readings and signings — though there will be that, too. Rather, she conceived a multimedia event that includes short video works, live performed narrations, original musical scores and an exhibition of photographs from the book — which is available for purchase through co-presenter Skylight Books.”
– Shana Nys Dambrot / Critic’s Pick, LA Weekly 


 

THE DIAGRAM

“Folded narratives look back to consider themselves, answer their own questions. A reader finds herself swiveling about at phrases whose consequence shifts and clarifies as the collection progresses. The book churns like a machine, its gears revealing their teeth only in shifting. What winds the stories together is a thematic suggestion that the pain of landscape can be experienced by those who haunt it – perhaps the reverse is true as well.” CLICK HERE to read more and see the visual review in THE DIAGRAM by the brilliant SARAH MINOR. 


 

GREENLIGHT BOOKS
“One of Brooklyn’s most engaging artistic and literary voices.”

– Greenlight Books 


 

BOOKSLUT
Wikswo’s writing’s emotional power, coupled with a fantastical, dreamlike quality underscored with darkness and a fixation on mortality, gives her prose a cinematic nature evocative of Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman. Wikswo’s interest in the transformative function of writing is less in the product and more the act; how, in a Blanchotian sense, we lose something of ourselves in writing that cannot be regained, and how this mirrors the experience of love.”

“Wikswo’s use of gendered pronouns is fluid and inconsistent, lending the romantically inclined narratives a nuance of charming confusion. Gender in [Wikswo’s] writing is both irrelevant and important; irrelevant because love is love and lust is lust, regardless; and important because establishing queer relationships as conventional alongside their heterosexual equivalents is critical in negating the sidelining of LGBT representation.”

“Dedicated to those inhabiting the meeting point of nihilism and romance, Wikswo’s tales palpate the tiny, tender parts of us that dare to hope for love and belonging in the face of a cold and unkind universe. . . Blurring the edges of reality and challenging the body’s limits, Wikswo offers a glimpse of what could transpire if our deepest desires devoured us. . .”

“Wikswo is interested in how the trauma of loss affects us on a primal level, denying us a language that can articulate our grief. .. These are the memories left when all else is stripped away, when we are left with nothing but our minds. Wikswo is skilled at amalgamating her emotions and memories with reflections on human tragedy on a larger scale: in this, as with many of her stories, the universal themes offer familiarity, while the historical or geographical settings lend weight that transcends individual experience.”
Bookslut

 


LAMBDA LITERARY
“In the collection’s final story, “The Double Nautilus,” a claustrophobic rendering of the circuitous journeys we undertake in our search for love and wholeness, the narrator says, “We are subterranean tunnel lovers, and the single shell now contains us both, with no membrane in between… She says this has been here all this time. That we merely needed the strength to go deep enough.” In The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, Quintan Ana Wikswo proves herself unafraid of the depths.  In the first few pages of Quintan Ana Wikswo’s debut story collection, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, you might wonder where you are. You might wonder where you’re going. You might, if you’re the type of reader who likes to be certain about your time and place in space, have to tell yourself to relax. You might have to sit tight and be patient with the unknowing. I promise you it will be worth it.”

– Lambda Literary read the review here

 


WARSCAPES
“Quintan Ana Wikswo has carved out a space of artistic living unlike anyone else. Her work bleeds into multiple disciplines, from fiction to poetry to photography to performance art to simply living in a sort of shamanistic kind of world, where every mundane or broken object becomes endowed with importance, where no story is off-limits from its telling. Her new work, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, from Coffee House Press, is a collection of stories and photographs that reads and feels like a dream map of a visionary’s brain. It is unlike anything else out there. The stories breathe with peripheral intensity. Upon reading them, one can feel how far and how deep they reach back and forward, what and whose stories they are trying to un-erase. Combined with the photographs – taken with broken cameras – the text begins to sneak into different places of the brain and back again. There is a rhythm to this movement, a music, a life. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Farmay change the way you view the book as object, the story as word.

Devin Kelly in Warscapes read the inter/review here 

 


CREATIVE CAPITAL’S THE LAB
For a society recently focused on how rigidly we should adhere to the identities that are supposed to define us, Quintan Ana Wikswo’s new book of photography and stories comes as a spiritual guide...in The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, Wikswo queers storylines and images.”

– Creative Capital’s THE LAB read the interview here

 


 

“These stunning, solitary and cinematic letters to the self (think of the Quays and Béla Tarr speaking together in dreamtime) bear witness to a world beloved and betrayed, the spent and brutal collisions of irretrievable loss with what might have been possible.”
—Rikki Ducornet on The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far

 


 

“You will find within these pages a marvelous alchemy of image and text, all of it radiant, sensual, endlessly layered. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is at once a seduction and an insurrection: a paean to lovers, explorers, resisters, and those without borders.”
National Book Award finalist Sarah Shun-lien Bynum on The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far 

 


 

“Describing The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far isn’t easy: it blends stark prose and shifting imagery with images that sometimes accentuate the words on the page and sometimes bring moments into sharp (pardon the pun) focus. It’s unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year.”
– Volume 1 Brooklyn 

 


LARGEHEARTED BOY
“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s short story collection The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far boldly combines prose and photography to create a unique, mesmerizing, and unforgettable reading experience.”

– Largehearted Boy

 


ELECTRIC LITERATURE
“The reader, too, is listening. She’s reading closely, attentively as she follows Wikswo through these meditations of where wilderness lives not only outside of us, but within us, as well. The reader weaves around and discover the ways in which through language, wilderness is a type of getting lost in beauty—getting lost in herself. Through this, the senses created by this reading experience are forever heightening. It is through Wikswo’s poetic language and movement that we can recognize, live, and exist in our own ecology of complexity.”

–  Electric Literature read the review here

 


0s&1s/PIXELATED
“[The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far explores] humanity from the outside, not just crossing genres but exploding them. Quintan combines text and photography to give us characters who have left their bodies, and whose stories have become boundless. She writes with both a lightness and the weight of lives unlived, of remorse, and of loss.”

– 0s&1s/Pixelated read the interview here

 


 

“Quintan Ana Wikswo, in her unique and magnificent The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, has ignited an extraordinary condensation of texts and images that culls together spirit, compassion, and dreams. Throughout her foray into extensions of the mind and the limits of the body she exudes an uncanny power of magic and wizardry.
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Director of Women Art Revolution

 


 

“In these stories, disasters in war and love trigger peculiar unexpected metamorphoses…Cataclysmic apocalypses such as hurricanes, political coups, and military invasions find equal footing with lovers’ quarrels, broken romances, and erotic negotiations. Instead of cause for destruction, these catastrophes become opportunities for transformation—especially from human to non-human.” 
– Literary Hub read the interview here

 


HYPERALLERGIC
“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s trenchant interdisciplinary investigation into the sites of massacres and other atrocities is a vivid reminder that art no longer serves religion, but is progressively supplanting it in terms of ritual and sanctity.”

– Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic 

 


 

“The New York artist Quintan Ana Wikswo shows photographs whose foreboding atmosphere is accentuated by simulations of the hypersensitive vision caused by post-traumatic stress disorder.”
– The Guardian UK

 


 

 

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