Sea Monkeys: A Memory Book


Product Details

Soft Skull Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

Kris Saknussemm's books include the poetry collection In the Name of the Father, the novels Enigmatic Pilot, Zanesville, and Private Midnight, and a portfolio book of his paintings titled The Colors of Compulsion.


It's immediately evident that we're dealing with a poet who's operating in a sublimely blurred space between poetry and prose...The autobiographical sketches that cover the author's early adult years are full of the sort of boozing, drugging and sexcapades one would naturally expect from an alcoholic preacher's son. Highlights from these years include the author's stint as a soul radio DJ ("Mr. Very Late Night") and a Henry Miller-esque romp through Saknussemm's many sexual conquests as a randy college professor. A wonderfully warped grab bag of memories from a wilder and weirder time. --Kirkus

[H]is psychological insights are sharp...And a much longer piece, "Mr. Very Late Night," about being the only white D.J working the graveyard shift at a black radio station, is a superb piece of writing...--Publishers Weekly

Kris Saknussemm's sincerity, wisdom and writing talent make Sea Monkeys something which is half way between a memoir and a Molotov cocktail. -Etgar Keret

We get old but we stay young. We're all of our selves we've ever been. Kris Saknussemm knows this. After this book, you will too.--Stephen Graham Jones, author of Growing up Dead in Texas

'No one could dream a place like California, ' Jay Farrar sings, but in Sea Monkeys, Kris Saknussemm dreams growing up on the wild coast in prose with bite, immediacy and pungency commensurate with his capacity for wonder. Sea Monkeys delivers less the specifics of a sentimental education and more intensely the shining contours of a famously diverse ecology that includes father as alcoholic preacher, a flawed loving family shattered by child rape, the hijinks and shenanigans of children whose imaginations yet live, the homemade toys of childhood which refuse to die, the neighborhood kids and gangs of friends waking to marvels, terrors and sadness usually unmentioned by adults. Saknussemm's prose crackles and rings with tones and registers out of the range of the average and the ordinary, but out of the wreckage of those, he recalls the wild and dew-breathed dreams of childhood gone indelible through the quality of recall. --Sesshu Foster, author of Atomik Aztex and World Ball Notebook