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An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Skyby Dan Beachy-quick
Synopses & Reviews
Daniel is pursued by stories. His father, in thrall to a myth, has disappeared; his mother and sister, too; and Lydia, his lover, leaves him and the novel he cannot finish for quantum mechanics, the place where theory tells tales about the real. And then there is Pearl, the girl beneath the floorboards, whose adventures hum alongside Daniels own.
In this contemporary, contemplative fairy tale, the autobiographical novel takes on the cast of legend, and the uncertainty of memory leaves reality on shaky ground. Can parallel universes exist? Can a preoccupation with Moby Dick overwhelm the story unfolding before you? Where do you stand in relation to the metaphysics of your own life?
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Circle's Apprentice; two books of prose, A Whaler's Dictionary and Wonderful Investigations; as well as a number of chapbooks and two collaborations, Conversities (with Srikanth Reddy) and Work from Memory (with Matthew Goulish). He teaches in the MFA program at Colorado State University, and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife and two daughters.
"Slipping through time, reality, and fantasy, this inspired novel from Beachy-Quick (A Whaler's Dictionary) tells the story of Daniel, a college professor adrift in a sea of narratives. 'The story has lost its order,' Daniel laments early in the novel, referring both to an autobiographical tome he is attempting to write and to the way he recalls his own bygone experiences: the deaths of his mother and newborn sister, his father's unhealthy obsession with myth, and his own doomed relationship with Lydia, the love of his life. Under Beachy-Quick's expert hand, Daniel zigzags across a nonlinear history, occasionally stopping to address elements of classics by authors like Melville, Hawthorne, and Emerson, and to comment on the fairy tales contained within Wonders and Tales, a green leather-bound book that haunted his childhood. Driven by images of pearls, sleeping giants, whales, and volcanoes, Daniel searches for the truth of life while acknowledging the failures of memory; yet his character, shaped by a troubling childhood, is left impenetrable, and he is unable to experience simple pleasures and relationships. As a result, Daniel often rambles, and the outcome is a strange, yet rewarding, experience. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Tree of Life meets In Search of Lost Time in this contemporary tale of loss and the power of story.
Daniel is pursued by stories—the volume on his fathers bookcase, the retellings of the loss of his mother and lover that circulate in his head, the novel he cannot finish. And then there is Pearl, the girl beneath the floorboards. In this contemporary, contemplative fairy tale, the deceits and consolations of narrative compete, imagination taking form, shaping everyday life.
About the Author
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Circles Apprentice, as well as two books of prose, A Whalers Dictionary and Wonderful Investigations, as well as a number of chapbooks and two collaborations, Conversities (with Srikanth Reddy), and Work from Memory (with Matthew Goulish). He teaches in the MFA Program at Colorado State University, and lives in Fort Collins with his wife and two daughters.
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