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The Guild of Saint Cooper
     

The Guild of Saint Cooper

by Shya Scanlon
 

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An obscure author, drawn in by the mysterious Guild of St. Cooper, must rewrite the history of a dying city. But the changes become greater than those he set out to make, and the story quickly unspools backward into an alternate history—a world populated by giant rhododendrons, space aliens, and TV's own Special Agent Dale Cooper.

An editor at The Nervous

Overview

An obscure author, drawn in by the mysterious Guild of St. Cooper, must rewrite the history of a dying city. But the changes become greater than those he set out to make, and the story quickly unspools backward into an alternate history—a world populated by giant rhododendrons, space aliens, and TV's own Special Agent Dale Cooper.

An editor at The Nervous Breakdown and co-founder of Monkey Bicycle, Shya Scanlon won the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction at Brown University, where he received his MFA. He lives in New York.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Just when I thought I'd had my fill of dystopian novels, along comes the The Guild of Saint Cooper; a playful, imaginative, and wildly unpredictable ride through alternate Seattle. Scanlon delights in turning history on its ear in this daring and thoughtful high wire act of a novel." —Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Praise for Border Run:
"Like a Philip K. Dick of the American Southwest, or a futuristic Cormac McCarthy." —Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nightttime and Some for the Day

"Strikes a flawless balance between satire and heart, adventure adn meditation." —Laura Van Den Berg, author The Isle of Youth

Praise for Forecast:
"Shya Scanlon's brilliant first novel inhabits the skin of science fiction while setting off fireworks more extravagantly imagined and coolly displayed than those ever fired into the night air by any conventional SF novel." —Peter Straub, author of Lost Boy, Lost Girl and Black House

"Tipping its hat to authors like Stacey Levine, China Miéville and Jonathan Lethem, Scanlon's novel is part Science Fiction, part noir, part road narrative and part love story." —Brian Evenson, author of Altmann's Tongue and The Wavering Knife

Praise for In This Alone Impulse:
"If Gertrude Stein ran track for Mineola Prep, she'd text these alert, convivial poems from the team bus." —Joyelle McSweeney, author of The Red Bird and Nylund: The Sarcographer

Kirkus Reviews
2015-03-03
In a near-future Seattle undergoing a slow apocalypse, a writer is convinced to undertake a heroic mission to save the city by rewriting its history. For some time now, poet and essayist Scanlon (Border Run, 2013, etc.) has been curating The Twin Peaks Project, which invites writers to portray their experiences with the early-1990s television show through personal essays, criticism, poetry, etc., which are then published on a variety of websites. Here, he combines a portrayal of a post-apocalyptic American Northwest similar to that in his novel Forecast (2012) with aspects of the television show in a long, rambling thriller that seems more interested in its own metafictional nature than in telling a proper story. The book's narrator is Blake Williams, the author of a bestselling book (also called Forecast) who's moved back to Seattle to care for his dying mother. His wife, confusingly also named Blake, has long since left him, and neighbors are moving out of the city to escape some dire circumstances that are hinted at but not explained. Eventually, Blake is recruited by an underground group, The Guild of St. Cooper, which wants him to change the city's fate by writing a version of its history in which Dale Cooper, the fictional FBI agent in Twin Peaks, saves the day. There is a conspiracy Blake must unravel, but it's obscenely complicated and unbelievable. If you dig this exchange between Cooper and Blake, this is the story for you: "It was you who discovered what Weyerhaeuser was up to with our extraterrestrial visitors, and you whose first experience with transpositional epiphany led us to the discovery of Existencelastic Macrobial Foreshortening," says Cooper. Everyone else merely needs to know that it's pretty weird and includes aliens and mind control and Dale Cooper-isms and flashbacks and ruminations on the nature of writing. An inventive but baffling literary experiment that makes just as much sense as the end of Twin Peaks.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936873616
Publisher:
Dzanc Books
Publication date:
05/12/2015
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

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Meet the Author


Shya Scanlon is the author of the novels Border Run and Forecast, and the poetry collection In This Alone Impulse. An editor at The Nervous Breakdown and co-founder of Monkey Bicycle, he won the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction at Brown University, where he received his MFA. He lives in New York.

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