Divergent Trajectories: Interviews with Innovative Fiction Writers by Flore Chevaillier examines the aesthetic, political, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of contemporary fiction through a series of interviews with some of today’s most cutting-edge fiction writers. New relationships between literature, media culture, and hypertexts have added to modes of experimentation and reshaped the boundaries between literary and pop culture media; visual arts and literature; critical theory and fiction writing; and print and digital texts. This collection of interviews undertakes such experimentations through an intimate glance, allowing readers to learn about each writer’s journey, as well as their aesthetic, political, and personal choices.
Including interviews with R. M. Berry, Debra Di Blasi, Percival Everett, Thalia Field, Renee Gladman, Bhanu Kapil, Lance Olsen, Michael Martone, Carole Maso, Joseph McElroy, Christina Milletti, Alan Singer, and Steve Tomasula, Divergent Trajectories provides a framework that allows innovative authors to discuss in some depth their works, backgrounds, formal research, thematic preferences, genre treatment, aesthetic philosophies, dominant linguistic expressions, cultural trends, and the literary canon. Through an examination of these concepts, writers ask what “traditional” and “innovative” writing is, and most of all, what fiction is today.
IN & OZ: A Novel
Steve Tomasula University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3620.O53I5 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Steve Tomasula is a novelist like no other; his experiments in narrative and design have won him a loyal following. Exemplifying Tomasula’s style, IN & OZ is a heady, avant-garde book, rooted in convincing characters even as it simultaneously subverts the genre of novel and moves it forward.
IN & OZ is a novel of art, love, and auto mechanics. The story follows five different characters—an auto designer, photographer, musical composer, poet/sculptor, and mechanic—who live in two very different places: IN, a back-alley here and now; and OZ, which reflects the desire for somewhere better. The men and women who populate Tomasula’s landscape desperately hope to fill a void in their lives through a variety of media: music, language, dirt, light, and automobiles. As the plot moves forward, the story of the residents of INand that of their counterparts in OZconverge. A fanciful allegory that tackles class relations, art, commerce, and language, IN & OZ is a tale of the human condition that is as visually compelling as it is moving.
A novel not only for fiction lovers, but also for artists of all stripes, IN & OZ creates a fantasy that illumines our own world as it lucidly builds its own.
Once Human: Stories
Steve Tomasula University of Alabama Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3620.O53A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
A manga artist who is afraid that she herself is slipping into a cartoon version of life, a lab technician who makes art with the cloning technology she uses at work, a sociologist hunting for the gene that makes some people want to take risks—these are some of the characters that populate the stories in Once Human. Exploring the spaces where life is shaped by science and the technologies we bring into being, Steve Tomasula’s characters often find that the harder they look at the world, the less they can say. The map that emerges from these stories charts the territory of human longing and the failure of poetry, science, and technology to explain the “why” of the world, if not its “how.”
Printed in the colors of flesh and blood, VAS: An Opera in Flatland—a hybrid image-text novel—demonstrates how differing ways of imagining the body generate diverse stories of history, gender, politics, and, ultimately, the literature of who we are.
A constantly surprising, VAS combines a variety of voices, from journalism and libretto to poem and comic book. Often these voices meet in counterpoint, and the meaning of the narrative emerges from their juxtapositions, harmonies, or discords. Utilizing a wide and historical sweep of representations of the body—from pedigree charts to genetic sequences—VAS is, finally, the story of finding one's identity within the double helix of language and lineage.