Night Rooms: Essays
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About the Author
"A Most Anticipated Book of 2021" --Refinery29, Thrillist, Book Riot, Lit Hub
"Gina Nutt's Night Rooms is a startling collection of 18 essays ruminating on life experiences, cultural tropes and horror films, examining questions of gender, fear and grief. Fragmented in form, but firmly interconnected, these essays refuse to look away. Nutt's prose is lyrical, provocative, intimate and intelligent... Together, these pieces form an experience that is sensory, intellectual and emotional, illuminating difficult and even uncomfortable truths."
--Julia Kastner, Shelf Awareness
"With a stunningly original concept and precise execution, Gina Nutt's debut essay collection Night Rooms is absolutely captivating... Nutt shies away from nothing in her writing, taking bold chances with both the structure and the way she lays herself bare to the reader... Inhale the essays one by one. Set it down and reflect back on your own lived experience."
--Beth Mowbray, The Nerd Daily
"In this viscerally provocative collection of essays, life isn't so different from a horror movie -- just be glad you have Gina Nutt as the Final Girl guiding you through... In writing both revelatory and intimate, Nutt probes the most frightening aspects of life in such a way that she manages to shed light and offer understanding even about those things that lurk in the deepest and darkest of shadows."
--Kristin Iversen, Refinery29
"Serpentine and stunning, Gina Nutt's Night Rooms leads us on a tour of the empty backrooms of our own personal experiences--we weave through corridors of memory and stumble into the bloody maw of classic horror tropes. The prose reality hops, making subtle and brilliant associative links--the emptiness within the spaces rings out as loudly as the gnashing content of the words themselves. This work gives the feeling of floating aimlessly in a long-abandoned Victorian flooded with viscous liquid. A disquieting dream rendering the reader a heavy limbed ghost haunting the halls of their own past."
--Jack Hawthorn, The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)
"Horror movies and bodily autonomy collide in poet Gina Nutt's debut essay collection. More lyrical prose than straightforward analysis, Night Rooms dismantles horror tropes through personal discursions, culminating in what it means to be the 'final girl' of her family."
--Leanne Butkovic and Emma Stefansky, Thrillist, "Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2021"
"Gina Nutt uses horror movie tropes to weave together fragmented essays on anxiety and grief, homebuying, and shark-infused family vacations"
--Eliza Smith, Lit Hub "Most Anticipated Books of 2021"
"This collection has a medatative quality about it, each a slight hurt, as if pressing gently on a bruise... Nutt navigates metaphor like an expert butcher--cutting and curing words until we're left with something totally new, a different animal than the original thought. A wonderful gift for anyone who has experienced loss, or an assault, any sort of violation that has guided them into their own night room."
--Aimée Keeble, Main Street Books (NC), Highly Recommending
"Poet Nutt applies her sensibilities to these fragmented, haunting essays sharing her fear of and fascination with death. She intricately ties horror films and true crime to moments in her own life; house-buying tainted by fears of who possibly died there, scenes from Poltergeist and Beetlejuice; memories of childhood beauty pageants forever tied to JonBenét Ramsey; dreams stalked by Freddy Krueger. Lovers of experimental essays should definitely seek this out."
--Kathy Sexton, Booklist
"[Nutt] spins a striking tale of survival and loss in this haunting essay collection. Nutt uses familiar tropes from horror films as a window into her thinking... Lovers of the personal essay will be thrilled by this innovative collection."
"These essays are affecting, like lucid dreams."
"Night Rooms reads like a tour de force, a stream of consciousness where Gina blends her own story into fragments of horror movies. And that, I believe, is the point: to show just how horrifying and unsettling life can be. Even normal, everyday life carriers a propensity toward fear--the very thing the horror genre hinges upon and which lovers of the genre seek out."
--Mandy Shunnarah, Off the Beaten Shelf
"Most-anticipated new books from the first half of 2021."
--Kim Ukura and Alice Burton, Book Riot, For Real Podcast, Episode 74
"In Night Rooms, Gina Nutt uses horror films to describe feelings and experiences that can't be expressed in words. As haunting as any good movie and as fragmented as any life, this innovative, intimate, deeply resonant book blurs together film scenes with Nutt's own vivid recollections, giving voice to all the near-universal but inexpressible horrors, large and small, of being a woman, being a survivor, being alive."
--Amy Berkowitz, author of Tender Points
"Whether she's uncovering connections between her homebuyer's course and haunted house movies, her wedding anniversary and Victorian taxidermy tableaux, or her shopping mall's glass elevator and destiny, Gina Nutt writes prose so astonishing I want to read it in an MRI machine just to confirm that every part of my brain indeed lit up. Night Rooms is a brilliant, beautiful, boundlessly inventive book."
--Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl
"Night Rooms is vulnerable, cinematic, and positively transcendent. Gina Nutt uses themes and details from horror films as a way into a meditation on the deaths she's experienced in her own life, acting as a kind of literary final girl, asking, what does it mean to survive? Nutt's exploration of this question is captivating to read, as her chainsaw-sharp sentences carve a path toward the truth. I love this book."
--Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else