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The Book of Beginnings and Endings

by

The Book of Beginnings and Endings Cover

 

Staff Pick

The Book of Beginnings and Endings begins with the perfect visual complement on its cover: an installation by Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. An egg is a literal, biological, and metaphorical beginning. But an eggshell is an ending; emptied of its typical function, it can only hope for the compost heap. Here though, we see eggshells — through a windowed cabinet, on a painted table — all broken, but some refashioned to look whole. The cabinet brims with them, the table has no surface free of them; the threat is that some eggshells will fall and break. Why is it scary that something broken should again break? What becomes the middle when the middle is gone? These are just two of the questions Jenny Boully's project forces to mind. Like the eggshell halves, these 36 essays/poems simulate intactness, but are comprised of the first page of a text and the last page of a separate text. Boully uses these sutures to explore her interest in form, intent, wholeness, and capacity (even when the notion of holding is entirely disrupted). Sometimes the seams are ridged and visible. Sometimes they're not. But Boully's overall objective is to bend the text until it is on the verge of breaking. Even when I felt it didn't work, I had to admit it did.
Recommended by Jae, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How does the story begin? How does it end? This is what The Book of Beginnings and Endings will tell you, but nothing more. The middle — with its arguments, segues, denouement — isn't there. These are beginnings that wave goodbye with the door flung wide open, endings that open in medias res. Throwing her voice in a feat of lyrical ventriloquism, Jenny Boully tunes into every station to open or close more than fifty books ranging in subject matter from physics and astronomy to literary theory and love.

Review:

"I do not know of a single essayist working right now who can match Jenny's drive for innovation in nonfiction, her keen sense of form, her playful use of the genre's conventions, and her vigorously subversive engagement with a heritage that she simultaneously seems deeply in love with. Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch." John D'Agata

Review:

It is an eloquent shoring up of fragments, a potentially infinite poem. The binding is neither genre nor gender but eros itself, both of the physical variety and the type that caresses the noun and its attendants. Anne Carson comes to mind." C. D. Wright

Review:

"Boully's work combines the unapologetically romantic with the quirky factoids of contemporary life (star charts and decoder rings; orchids and eggs over-easy). She uses form in a way that undercuts our every expectation based on previous encounters with prose." Mary Jo Bang

Synopsis:

A book with only beginnings and endings, all invented. Jenny Boully opens and closes more than fifty topics ranging from physics and astronomy to literary theory and love. A brilliant statement on interruption, impermanence, and imperfection.

Synopsis:

The third collection from this thrillingly innovative master of the lyric essay.

Synopsis:

“Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch.”—John D’Agata

“Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without ‘complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.’ Jenny Boully has done it.”—Mary Jo Bang

A book with only beginnings and endings, all invented. Jenny Boully opens and closes more than fifty topics ranging from physics and astronomy to literary theory and love. A brilliant statement on interruption, impermanence, and imperfection.

Jenny Boully is the author of The Body: An Essayand [one love affair]*. Born in Thailand, she currently divides her time between Texas and Brooklyn.

About the Author

Boully is the author of The Body and one love affair*. Born in Thailand, she studied at Hollins University and the University of Notre Dame and is currently a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She divides her time between Brooklyn and Texas.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781932511550
Author:
Boully, Jenny
Publisher:
Sarabande Books
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20071131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
9.1 x 6.1 x 0.3 in 4.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose

The Book of Beginnings and Endings Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Sarabande Books - English 9781932511550 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Book of Beginnings and Endings begins with the perfect visual complement on its cover: an installation by Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. An egg is a literal, biological, and metaphorical beginning. But an eggshell is an ending; emptied of its typical function, it can only hope for the compost heap. Here though, we see eggshells — through a windowed cabinet, on a painted table — all broken, but some refashioned to look whole. The cabinet brims with them, the table has no surface free of them; the threat is that some eggshells will fall and break. Why is it scary that something broken should again break? What becomes the middle when the middle is gone? These are just two of the questions Jenny Boully's project forces to mind. Like the eggshell halves, these 36 essays/poems simulate intactness, but are comprised of the first page of a text and the last page of a separate text. Boully uses these sutures to explore her interest in form, intent, wholeness, and capacity (even when the notion of holding is entirely disrupted). Sometimes the seams are ridged and visible. Sometimes they're not. But Boully's overall objective is to bend the text until it is on the verge of breaking. Even when I felt it didn't work, I had to admit it did.

"Review" by , "I do not know of a single essayist working right now who can match Jenny's drive for innovation in nonfiction, her keen sense of form, her playful use of the genre's conventions, and her vigorously subversive engagement with a heritage that she simultaneously seems deeply in love with. Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch."
"Review" by , It is an eloquent shoring up of fragments, a potentially infinite poem. The binding is neither genre nor gender but eros itself, both of the physical variety and the type that caresses the noun and its attendants. Anne Carson comes to mind."
"Review" by , "Boully's work combines the unapologetically romantic with the quirky factoids of contemporary life (star charts and decoder rings; orchids and eggs over-easy). She uses form in a way that undercuts our every expectation based on previous encounters with prose."
"Synopsis" by , A book with only beginnings and endings, all invented. Jenny Boully opens and closes more than fifty topics ranging from physics and astronomy to literary theory and love. A brilliant statement on interruption, impermanence, and imperfection.
"Synopsis" by , The third collection from this thrillingly innovative master of the lyric essay.
"Synopsis" by ,

“Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch.”—John D’Agata

“Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without ‘complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.’ Jenny Boully has done it.”—Mary Jo Bang

A book with only beginnings and endings, all invented. Jenny Boully opens and closes more than fifty topics ranging from physics and astronomy to literary theory and love. A brilliant statement on interruption, impermanence, and imperfection.

Jenny Boully is the author of The Body: An Essayand [one love affair]*. Born in Thailand, she currently divides her time between Texas and Brooklyn.

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