Vanishing Monuments

Available

Description

Alani Baum, a non-binary photographer and teacher, hasn't seen their mother since they ran away with their girlfriend when they were seventeen -- almost thirty years ago. But when Alani gets a call from a doctor at the assisted living facility where their mother has been for the last five years, they learn that their mother's dementia has worsened and appears to have taken away her ability to speak. As a result, Alani suddenly find themselves running away again -- only this time, they're running back to their mother.
Staying at their mother's empty home, Alani attempts to tie up the loose ends of their mother's life while grappling with the painful memories that--in the face of their mother's disease -- they're terrified to lose. Meanwhile, the memories inhabiting the house slowly grow animate, and the longer Alani is there, the longer they're forced to confront the fact that any closure they hope to get from this homecoming will have to be manufactured.
This beautiful, tenderly written debut novel by Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers winner John Elizabeth Stintzi explores what haunts us most, bearing witness to grief over not only what is lost, but also what remains.

Product Details

Price: $17.95  $16.51
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Published Date: May 05, 2020
Pages: 304
Dimensions: 5.91 X 0.87 X 7.87 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language: English
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9781551528014
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

John Elizabeth Stintzi is a non-binary writer who grew up on a cattle farm in northwestern Ontario. They are a recipient of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and their work has appeared in The Malahat Review, Kenyon Review Online, Ploughshares, and in their forthcoming poetry collection Junebat (House of Anansi). They have an MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University in Southampton, NY and currently teach critical and creative writing at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Reviews

"The real pleasure of reading John Elizabeth Stintzi's book is to see a sensitive mind work through an internal landscape, and to watch them do it with such patience and generosity." --Sara Majka, author of Cities I've Never Lived In

"Vanishing Monuments is a beautiful portrait of disassociation at once between countries, family, gender, identities, and, most importantly, 'the distance between ... you and yourself.' An absolute monumental achievement of a first novel." --Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed

"Vanishing Monuments is a remarkable novel, a beautiful puzzle of place and belonging, identity and vocation, duty and love. John Elizabeth Stintzi's writing is full of welcome and true surprise - I found myself underlining passages on every page, and then going back to underline more." --John K. Samson, musician and poet

"A camera 'takes time and holds it still, ' says the narrator's mother, and reading Vanishing Monuments is like sifting through a darkroom and watching scenes emerge and accrue into an assemblage of life. Memory haunts this novel, at once elusive and inescapable. Like the narrative itself, it loops, layers, seizes, erodes. And John Elizabeth Stintzi conjures it all with a gorgeously queer, off-kilter grace." --Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City

"A surreal, poetic meditation on the struggle to feel at home with the past, family, and one's own body." --Kirkus Reviews