NEW NOVEL / “A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE”

August 22, 2017

Quintan Ana Wikswo’s A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE
/ forthcoming October 2017
/ Stalking Horse Press

I’m delighted to announce the upcoming publication of my second book, a fabulist family history – a novel with photographs that surrounds sexuality, resistance, and the battle for independence in the mixed-race town of Lynchburg, Virginia.

ANNOUNCING: QUINTAN ANA WIKSWO’S ‘A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE’


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hailed as “heady, euphoric, singular, surprising” by Publishers Weekly, “universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy” byElectric Literature, and “one of Brooklyn’s most engaging literary voices” by Greenlight Bookstore, and “a mad scientist” by Literary Hub, writer, artist, and human rights activist Quintan Ana Wikswo is the author of the hybrid text and photography collection THE HOPE OF FLOATING HAS CARRIED US THIS FAR (Coffee House Press) and A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE (Stalking Horse Press, forthcoming October 2017).

Her writing has appeared in Tin House,Conjunctions, Guernica, Gulf Coast Journal, The Kenyon Review and more. Her more than 30 projects combining literature, performance, and visual art are exhibited, performed, and published at museums and institutions in New York City, Los Angeles, Berlin, England, Italy, France, and are included in permanent collections and archives throughout the world including Brooklyn Museumand Jüdisches Museum Berlin | Jewish Museum Berlin. She holds major fellowships from Creative Capital, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Theo Westenberger Estate, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and @TheCenter for Cultural Innovation.

ABOUT A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE
A searing, sensual novel with photographs, A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be weaves together southern fabulism and gothic fury, pulling at the restless, volatile threads of seditious American iconoclasts Zora Neale Hurston, Patti Smith, Cormac McCarthy, and Toni Morrison. 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, and hauntingly vulnerable emotion. Quintan Ana Wikswo has written an unforgettable and relentless reinvestigation of the American soul.

A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be 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, wholeness, sexual liberty, and lives of freedom outside the chokeholds of racism, misogyny and social constraint.

Overshadowed by lingering scandals of miscegenation, the persistence of searing endemic violence, and a troubling secrecy surrounding their father’s disappearance, the women begin to walk into the discomforting limitations of their myths and wounds, and create their own new maps of sexual and personal fulfillment, resilience, and transformation. When the town claims that he is closer than they think, the women must decide whether his reappearance would offer wholeness, or unbearable consequences to their own hard-fought, courageous journeys towards existential insurrection.

PRAISE: 
 
 
“Heady, euphoric, singular, surprising” – Publishers Weekly
 
The 20 Best Books of 2017 – Joanna Valente for Luna Luna Magazine 

“The New York artist Quintan Ana Wikswo’s photographs and writing is a foreboding atmosphere accentuated by hypersensitive vision.”The Guardian

“An otherworldly kind of pleasure.” — The Kenyon Review, “Holiday Reading Recommendations”

“Wikswo peels back history to image, lyric, and the body so viscerally I felt my skin shiver. Under the belly of the south where its very sex sits, the women in this story bring themselves back to life.”
Lidia Yuknavitch

“One of this year’s big amazements – whose beauty is letter-perfect”
Dennis Cooper / Dennis Cooper’s Blog

“Beautiful, horrifying, passionate, and bold, A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE is a fascinating chronicle of the effects of place and history on the individual, and a record of how little of the inequities of that history in this country have yet been held to account. I can think of few books this year that I felt were more necessary to read at this point in time and yet were also so very lyrical and so so well-wrought as storytelling.”
Jeff VanderMeer

“Beautiful. Brutal. Poetic. Quintan Ana Wikswo reinvents American Southern Gothic, weaving a spell that is both horrific and heartbreaking. Mandatory reading.”
Lydia Lunch

“A vivid reminder that art no longer serves religion, but is progressively supplanting it in terms of ritual and sanctity.”
Hyperallergic

“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, author of Netsuke and The Fan-Maker’s Inquisition

“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.” — Chicago Tribune

“Wikswo’s singular lines strike like the tone of a bell, resonating across pages. . . . The stories . . . take the reader on a journey where myth, mystery, and the impossible have never seemed more real.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this mysterious work, Wikswo has found a new way to dramatize historical horrors and ambiguities.” — Star Tribune

“There’s a mesmerizing sense of timespace travel in these stories, which seem to simultaneously inhabit ancient mythological eras and the present day.” —Literary Hub

“One of Brooklyn’s best writers” – Greenlight Bookstore

“Desire bends the world with transmogrifying persistence … 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 Rumpus

“The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far balances intimate stories with surreal photographs, an otherworldly kind of pleasure.” — The Kenyon Review

“Across the pages,writer-photographer Quintan Ana Wikswo accomplishes places of uncommon depth via an elixir of language, photography, and negative space.” —@Los Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB)

“An intoxicating read that feels at once universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy.” —Electric Literature

“[Wikswo] 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

“What would ordinarily be conjured in the reader’s imagination, is readily provided in full color to create an additional layer of metaphor and meaning against the text.” — Drunken Boat

“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.” — Creative Capital

“Each story relies on a delicate juxtaposition of image and text. It supports the manner in which we process white space, as a sort of separate, ‘meta’ narrative. Paragraphs seem unnecessary here, as if each sentence is a shaman holy enough to regard the stanza as a pair of shackles, or a superfluous control mechanism.” — Volume 1 Brooklyn

“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.” — The Los Angeles Review of Books

Review 31, “Fiction Highlights: Review 31′s Best Novels of 2015”

“A multi-sensory reading experience. You don’t just read the stories; you engage with them . . . It is through Wikswo’s poetic language and movement that we can recognize, live, and exist in our own ecology of complexity.” — Electric Literature

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s work occupies territory the way only the bravest literary works do: the characters and places within shirk boundaries and create new ones, exist both inside and outside the world as we know it, and redefine love and existence in an unexpected and wildly queer way.” — Lambda Literary

“In glittering, tender, and terrifying language, Wikswo takes us to see the deep truths of the human body and soul–the damage that is wrought when society pushes some of its people to the margins and declares them worthless, and, despite the odds, that fierce love and life that can grow at those margins. I finished this book with my stomach beating and my heart trying to fly, spurred by joy and rage and pain and truth.” – Samantha Stiers

“With A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be, Wikswo not only subverts our definition of the novel; but she devours it, turning it inside out and coaxing it’s delicious innards out into the light. Even now, the heart—it’s still beating! This magical book is the rare work that makes impossible promises and leads you to the edge of the cliff. Then, it holds your hand while you jump off, together.” – Craig Foltz

“Like shortwave radio dispatches from another Universe where the edges that separate us are constantly blurring and shifting.” —Lambda Literary

“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.”—@LA Publishers Weekly

“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

“Experimental fiction and photography by former human rights worker, which I was surprised to fall in love with.” —@Critical Mass

The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a magnificent work and is perhaps the most original collection of fiction and hybrid text I have read in a long while. These pieces stretch and bend the reader as they come off the page, at times like artifacts 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 illustratons. These images linked to stories that are at once enigmatic and yet emotionally relatable take this book into a realm all its own.”
– @Review 31

“War and love, family and beloveds, reality and fantasy are her themes, but they are unlike the stories of these subjects you may have read before. A kind of alchemy is at work here within Wikswo’s sensual writing. Writing that comes close to being felt bodily and brightly heard. . . . The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a magnificent work.” — Review 31

“An evocative new short story collection.” —@Lambda Literary

“When Brooklyn-based author, visual artist, photographer and filmmaker Quintan Ana Wikswo celebrates the release of her new book The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, you can be sure that the former human rights activist won’t settle for a simple reading and Q&A.” — Bedford + Bowery

“Wikswo is equally deft with words and photographs . . . Wikswo’s desire to reintroduce the reader to an intense level of natural vitality . . . is not so much an attempt to erase the modern but to restore something ancient and eternal to its rightful place.” — Vertigo

“What is written here moves somewhere between a personal letter and a myth digested by generations. The stories are site-specific, witchy, and precise.” —@The Diagram New Michigan Press

“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.” — Bookslut

“The stories breathe with peripheral intensity. . . . There is a rhythm to this movement, a music, a life. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far may change the way you view the book as object, the story as word.” — WARSCAPES

“[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.” — Zeroes & Ones

“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

“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

“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 author of Madeleine is Sleeping

“Quintan Ana Wikswo, an ineffable force, might as well be Rilke’s lost female shadow. Her debut novel, A LONG CURVING SCAR WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE, speaks with the strangeness that Harold Bloom and others call a necessary component of significant literature: a lyrical articulation of history’s lost dreams. Her latest project promises to be an original, feminist, and queer fantasia of the United States meant to expose and celebrate the country’s hybrid roots.”
Edie Meidav

“Quintan Ana Wikswo excavates imagery, memory, and desire in this book alight with the hot glow, the past burning into the present. She submerges history in its own mud and we watch it resurface, bubbling, bloody, and alive.”
Andrea Kleine

AND HUGE THANK YOU’S TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED MY WORK:

 
 

PRAISE FOR THE HOPE OF FLOATING HAS CARRIED US THIS FAR (Coffee House Press)
“In these stories, author and visual artist Wikswo 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 of loss… Wikswo’s singular lines strike like the tone of a bell, resonating across pages…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

“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 book is singularly uncommon, tempting the audience to explore the stories’ translucency and from there delve into the eerie depths beneath their surfaces.”
—Chicago Tribune

“In this mysterious work, Wikswo has found a new way to dramatize historical horrors and ambiguities. 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.
—The Star Tribune

“An intoxicating read that feels at once universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy…a successfully ambitious blending 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, gender, 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.”
—Electric Literature

“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 Rumpus

“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, author of Madeleine is Sleeping

“There’s a mesmerizing sense of timespace travel in these stories, which seem to simultaneously inhabit ancient mythological eras and the present day.”
—LitHub

“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, author of Netsuke and The Fan-Maker’s Inquisition

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s debut book, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us this Far, occupies territory the way only the bravest literary works do: the characters and places within shirk boundaries and create new ones, exist both inside and outside the world as we know it, and redefine love and existence in an unexpected and wildly queer way.”
—Lambda Literary

“The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a magnificent work and is perhaps the most original collection of fiction and hybrid text I have read in a long while. These pieces stretch and bend the reader as they come off the page, at times like artifacts 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 illustratons. These images linked to stories that are at once enigmatic and yet emotionally relatable take this book into a realm all its own.”
– Review 31

“The speaker themselves mostly elude gender identification, rooting themselves in a sensuality and eroticism that transcend performative binaries along with increasingly outmoded delineations of sexual form. In the spirit of Virginia Woolf…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 is obsessions? How does violence imprint on the physical body; how does the body imprint on the physical realm?”
– The Rumpus

“[The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far] 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.”
—Vol. 1 Brooklyn

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.”
—Creative Capital

“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. 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.”
—LA Weekly

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

“Wikswo is equally deft with words and photographs . . . Wikswo’s desire to reintroduce the reader to an intense level of natural vitality . . . is not so much an attempt to erase the modern but to restore something ancient and eternal to its rightful place.”
—Vertigo

“What is written here moves somewhere between a personal letter and a myth digested by generations. The stories are site-specific, witchy, and precise.”—The Diagram

“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.”
—Bookslut

“The stories breathe with peripheral intensity. . . . There is a rhythm to this movement, a music, a life. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far may change the way you view the book as object, the story as word.”
WARSCAPES

“[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

“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! A (Formerly) Secret History

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