Pilot Impostor

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Product Details
$28.00  $26.04
Soft Skull
Publish Date
6.9 X 7.2 X 0.7 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
James Hannaham was born in the Bronx, grew up in Yonkers, New York, and now lives in Brooklyn. His most recent novel, Delicious Foods, won the PEN/Faulkner and Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards. His novel God Says No was honored by the ALA's Stonewall Book Awards. His short stories have been in One Story, Fence, Story Quarterly, BOMB; he was for many years a writer for the Village Voice and Salon and is also a visual and performance artist. He has exhibited text-based visual art at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, 490 Atlantic, and James Cohan. He won Best in Show for the exhibition Biblio Spectaculum at Main Street Arts. He teaches at the Pratt Institute.
"A funny and compelling meditation on the self and knowledge, authenticity and identity, mortality and chance, Pilot Impostor unfolds in tragic and comic fragments, allusions, and inventions. Unexpected--also beautiful." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, The Refugees, and The Committed

"Hannaham is not only creative or stunningly gifted or intellectual or supremely original, but all those distinctions at once. This genre-defying book of compressed prose, poetry and image is the product of a mind--and heart--pushing the artistic tachometer to the red line." --Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Washington Post

"In this playful and varied collection, the novelist James Hannaham makes use of an unlikely pairing--the works of the Portuguese modernist Fernando Pessoa and the history of plane crashes--to pose knotty questions about contemporary life . . . A hybrid work of stories, essays, poetry, jokes and visual art . . . Its best pieces possess the improbable coherence of dreams." --Dustin Illingworth, The New York Times Book Review

"Like the poetry of Pessoa and his various avatars, Pilot Impostor is bursting with ideas, a swirl of intellectual energy . . . What emerges is a sort of argument in fragments, riddled with modern dread, demanding us to look behind the artifice and connect to Hannaham's vision of humanity." --Mark Haskell Smith, Los Angeles Times

"Inventive in form and told with devastating wit, Pilot Impostor reveals the volatility and perilous edges of human consciousness." --Poets & Writers

"Hannaham's book--not quite a novel, not quite a short story collection, not quite like anything else--is a clever series of reflections on art, doubt, race, and impostor syndrome . . . Hannaham continues to be one of the country's smartest and most surprising writers of fiction . . . Unclassifiable, dizzying, and gorgeous." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"If, like me, you loved Delicious Foods and have been waiting for an encore, the mishmash of poems and photographs you find in your hands here might make you nervous, but by its end you'll be glad that James Hannaham made the choices he did. For, as Hannaham himself writes, in 'Rinse Aid': 'Find me a business like a poem--constructed with ecstasy and precision, guided by honesty, truth-seeking, compassionate. I'll work there.'" --Bradley Bazzle, The Rumpus

"Whether read as prose poems or short aphoristic thought experiments, the pieces are infused with Hannaham's distinctive dark humor, biting social commentary, and ever-present exuberance . . . Calling to mind a blend of Jorge Luis Borges, Donald Barthelme, David Markson, and Steve Martin, the result is daringly original and uninhibitedly inventive, born aloft by subversive verve." --Booklist

"A captivating blend of prose and verse . . . Hannaham's stimulating work moves like a plane in tailspin, tossing off flashes of wisdom as the ground below gets ever closer. It's a ride worth taking." --Publishers Weekly

"A wild symphony of language, image, and philosophico-political outrage, James Hannaham's Pilot Impostor is a gift to the genre-curious and Genius-averse: gorgeous, brutal, funny, intimate, enraging, cathartic, anti-cathartic, romantic (small-r), and deliriously, entirely itself." --Anna Moschovakis, International Booker Prize-winning translator and poet

"Pilot Impostor takes us on an exhilarating, incandescent ride. Words crash, meanings disintegrate and reincarnate, histories disappear and appear on the radar, and against all odds the pilot knows exactly where we're headed. As Juliane Diller, the lone survivor of the 1971 crash of Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop, once described the paradox: 'I hadn't left the plane; the plane had left me.'" --Monique Truong, author of The Sweetest Fruits and The Book of Salt

"Micro essays, flash fictions, prose poems: however you choose to label James Hannaham's rebuses of posture and imposture, self and anti-self, they are endlessly inventive, thought-provoking, and delightful. Mixing text and image, playfulness and profundity, Pilot Impostor updates the flight manual of shape-shifting twentieth-century masters--Calvino, Borges, Perec--and most of all Fernando Pessoa, poetic champion of identity theft. 'So too in my soul do aircraft vanish'--well now, that's the type of pilot we've been looking for!" --Campbell McGrath, author of Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems