Sprawl

Overview


Fiction. An absurdly comic and decidedly digressive novel, S P R A W L chronicles the mercurial inner life of one suburban woman. With vertiginous energy and a deadpan eye, the narrator records the seeming uniformity of her world--the dissolving marriage, crumbs on the countertop, the drunken neighbor careening into the pool, a dead dog on the side of the road--constructing surprising taxonomies that rearrange the banalities, small wonders, and accouterments of suburban life. As the abundance and debris ...
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Overview


Fiction. An absurdly comic and decidedly digressive novel, S P R A W L chronicles the mercurial inner life of one suburban woman. With vertiginous energy and a deadpan eye, the narrator records the seeming uniformity of her world--the dissolving marriage, crumbs on the countertop, the drunken neighbor careening into the pool, a dead dog on the side of the road--constructing surprising taxonomies that rearrange the banalities, small wonders, and accouterments of suburban life. As the abundance and debris accumulate, the sameness of suburbia gives way to enthralling strangeness. We suddenly feel the force of orbit when only moments before the world felt infinitely flat. Inspired by a series of domestic still lifes by photographer Laura Letinsky, Dutton creates her own trenchant series of tableaux, attentive to the surfaces of the suburbs and the ways in which life there is willfully, almost desperately, on display. In locating the language of sprawl itself--engrossing, unremitting, ever expansive--this novel takes us deep into the familiar and to its very edge.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The run-on text of Dutton's archly comic first novel (after story collection Attempts at a Life) forms, literally, a block of prose: the book itself is nearly square in shape, and the story consists of a single long paragraph. The unnamed narrator lives in a sprawling suburb with her husband, Haywood. In lieu of a conventional plot, there's a series of observations and reveries, prompted by such events as the narrator and Haywood seeing a movie in which the blonde heroine says "magnificent" as her "eyes shine with tears." Elsewhere, the narrator shares the minute rituals of a pet cat, has a 19th-century daydream inspired by a sunny morning, and dissects her appearance in a mirror and the dinner on a table. As the narrative proceeds, some change is seen, largely in Haywood's disillusion with marriage and with his wife's increasingly brittle musings. This experimental novel is best read in a single sitting and, like the photographs that inspired it, can be viewed in any number of ways, with a different effect each time. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979956232
  • Publisher: Siglio
  • Publication date: 8/23/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,480,423
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Danielle Dutton is is the author of S P R A W L (Siglio Press, 2010) and ATTEMPTS AT A LIFE (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007), and editor of Dorothy, a publishing project. An instructor in the MFA program at Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, she is also the book designer at Dalkey Archive Press. She was born and raised in California and now lives with her husband and son in Illinois.
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