How to Disappear and Why

Pre-Order   Ships Aug 27, 2024
Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Sarabande Books
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About the Author
Kyle Minor is the author of Praying Drunk, winner of the 2015 Story Prize Spotlight Award. His stories and essays appear online and in print in Esquire, The Atlantic, Iowa Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Mystery Stories, and The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Indianapolis.
"From the first page of Kyle Minor's extraordinary sequence of essays, the voice of this book--nerve-wracked, radiant, self-flaying--soars out to the edge of what's possible, and necessary, to speak aloud. And stays there, out on that edge, speaking truth to various powers, including the power of shame. The result is a triumph."--Jonathan Lethem, author of Brooklyn Crime Novel"A ferocious, tenderhearted, plucky, contemplative, loud, inspiring, marvelous collection of essays--the kind of book that makes you want to lock the door behind you, so you can gobble it up all by yourself."--Daniel Handler, author of Bottle Grove"How to Disappear and Why is a sui generis--one can rarely use the Latin honestly--collection of essays excavating narcissism, what it is and isn't in today's unapologetically self-referential culture. Most compellingly, these essays anatomize what narcissism is with respect to making art, to writing, to erecting 'junk temples, ' and even what it might mean to set out to win something, a yacht race, say. Kyle Minor understands profoundly that 'every expressive pursuit must hazard a landscape full of traps.' How to Disappear and Why is a collection of essays as original as Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard. Read How to Disappear and Why, and then read Festival Days, if you haven't already. Your sense of American belle-lettres will immediately improve."--Michelle Latiolais, author of She"In How to Disappear and Why, Kyle Minor turns his penetrating intelligence inward, battling his ambitions, his desires, and even his own admirable talent in an attempt to exhaust himself of whatever lies in the way of truer connection with others. What begins as a radical escape from the self soon becomes an even more striking magic trick, a moral and artistic undertaking of the highest order, a sincere attempt to eradicate the distance between the individual and the world. This book will provoke you and challenge you: it will not save you, but it will make you want to save yourself."--Matt Bell, author of AppleseedPast
Praise for Kyle Minor:

"Kyle Minor wants you to know that Praying Drunk is not actually, or only, a collection. In the
epigraph, he warns: "These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a
book, not just a collection. DON'T SKIP AROUND.' Minor is right to insist. The
stories may span decades as they move from Kentucky to Haiti and points
between, but they work in concert to slowly reveal the landscape of an
emotionally desolate quasi-America sinking under the weight of its own faith. .
. . Minor writes beautifully about these ruined lives."--The New York Times Book Review"An award-winning short fiction author offers twelve
stories so ripe with realism as to suggest a roman à clef. . . . This brilliant
collection unfolds around a fractured narrative of faith and friends and
family, loved and lost."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review"To read Praying Drunk is to open
yourself up to the type of rumination that some might be afraid of: namely, how
can anyone have faith when humans do so much to distort godliness?. . . . The
collection acts as a crisis of faith in a part of America that is steeped in
faith. How does it feel for a former preacher to wander a landscape of the
devout? Melancholy, to be sure. The beauty of Praying Drunk,
though, is that it transcends suffering to evoke the sublime."--The Los Angeles Times"The collection's masterpiece, the novella 'In a Distant
Country, ' works in epistolary style through a wide array of correspondents. All
are connected somehow to a troubled Baptist mission in Haiti, and their
community portrait, thanks to Minor's ventriloquism, achieves tragic stature. .
. . [a] grim yet terrific collection."--The Boston Globe"Praying Drunk is ostensibly a collection of
stories--but a disclaimer on the first page warns against reading out of order,
or sampling your way through. That's because nothing here is contained, the way
a hit single on a record stands alone--characters recur, themes and forms are
deepened and visited again, moments glimpsed earlier come back with haunting
force. These stories refuse to stay inside themselves."--The Atlantic"Fittingly, some of the most marvelous moments in this
collection are shaped more like sharp memories than full-on stories, like 'First,
The Teeth, ' in which the narrator visits his dying grandfather in the hospital
and struggles to paste in his false teeth. . . . The lesson is clear: the
habits the mind takes up long outlive memories of the experiences that built
those habits in the first place. Better pray."--The Daily Beast"[T]his is not just a collection of stories. It is a
performance -- a reckoning, really -- taking the facts of a life through the
permutations of narrative in one form and then another until they make a sort
of sense or at least a good story. "--The Minneapolis Star-Tribune