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Fiction. Set in the mind of a narrator who is grieving the loss of her father, who conflates her hotel room with the morgue, and who encounters characters that may not exist, BURIAL is a little novel about an immeasurable black hole. Like a 21st century Lispector, Donato grapples with ontology and trades plot for ambience; the result is an elegy in prose at once lyrical and intelligent, with no small amount of rot and vomit and ghosts.
"Claire Donato's patient, immersive meditation on death and mourning designed in precise urn-like prose, BURIAL, fledges itself with the poise of Woolf or Loy or Carson; a kind of humming, marbled elegy for the as-yet-extant-alive, and like finding a real river in a dictionary." Blake Butler
"In her captivating book, Donato follows grief logic into a space of defamiliarization, speaking of death, television, rooms, love, nouns and voices as if confronting them for the first time. The language loops, stepping back to move forward, always circling a mind aware of its movements. It's a gorgeous fugue, an unforgettable progression, a telling I cannot shake." Heather Christle
"BURIAL is a full and vibrant illustration of the restless turns of a mind undergoing trauma. Language here serves both as escape and as a threat, at once suspect and yet the only consolation. In BURIAL, Donato makes and unmakes the world with words, and what is left shimmers with pain and delight." Brian Evenson
"BURIAL's narrator dislocates familiar language in order to present a view of the self from outside the self. Claire Donato's assured and poetic debut augurs a promising career." Benjamin Moser"
Tarpaulin Sky Press
May 01, 2013
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About the Author
Claire Donato is the author of Burial, a fiction novella, and The Second Body, a full-length collection of poems. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, and recent writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Fence, The Chicago Review, Forever, BOMB, The Elephants, DIAGRAM, and GoldFlakePaint. She also contributed an introduction to The One on Earth: Selected Works of Mark Baumer. In addition to writing books, Claire makes music, illustrates, and has a 35mm photography practice. Currently, she works as Acting Chairperson of Writing at Pratt Institute, where she received the 2020-2021 Distinguished Teacher Award. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Woebegone.