Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams


Product Details

$24.95  $22.95
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
7.74 X 0.62 X 6.79 inches | 0.61 pounds
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About the Author

Dustin Parsons teaches at the University of Mississippi. Awards for his writing include an Ohio Arts Grant and a New York Fine Arts grant for creative nonfiction, an American Literary Review prize for fiction, and a Laurel Review prize for fiction.


This is a beautifully written book. Its sentences continuously stunned me with their grace and precision. In a moment when so much of what we take in is driven by the visual, this book's central premise is brilliant and timely. I am thinking about Claudia Rankine's Citizen and also Don't Let Me Be Lonely and the ways in which they compel readers differently than more straightforward narrative might. Parsons has pulled off a similar feat here.--Camille T. Dungy "author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History "
Dustin Parsons's debut collection of essays, Exploded View, is an intricate diagram of the lived experiences of a loving son and father. Part memoir, part map of home, part schematic exploration of work and family, this book is as innovative in form as it is heartfelt and smart. Parsons writes of landscapes I know--western Kansas and fatherhood--but does it with such heart and grace and skill that he makes the familiar unfamiliar and wondrous. As only the best architects of language can do, he gathers up the bones and fragments of a life and builds a body that is so much bigger and grander than any summation of its parts.--Steven Church "author of I'm Just Getting to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear and Fatherhood, and nonfiction editor for The Normal School "
It is difficult, upon closing this book, not to feel a sense of sadness when seeing how far the contemporary political climate has drifted away from the kind of empathy Parsons elicits and displays. That he does so with unwavering minimalist precision and a keen sense for the rhythms of everyday life puts him in the tradition of lyrical poets such as Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams. As the latter knew, so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow, or a red cardinal for that matter -- that is, on our ability to imagine the strain (and pain) of others.--Birger Vanwesenbeeck "Los Angeles Review of Books "
For its genre, the book is big and, in a way, Parsons writes like a musician who is a multi-instrumentalist. He stretches the lyrical essay all the way to poetry, although he is also a realistic writer of considerable skill. The diagrams amplify the sense that the work is truly hybrid.--Joe Bueter "Literary Mamas "