From the cosmic to the quotidian, this collection of essays by Amy Leach asks us to reconsider our kinship with the wild world.
The debut collection of a writer whose accolades precede her: a Whiting Award, a Rona Jaffe Award, a Best American Essays selection, and a Pushcart Prize, all received before her first book-length publication. This book represents a major break-out of an entirely new brand of nonfiction writer, in a mode like that of Ander Monson, John D’Agata, and Eula Biss, but a new sort of beast entirely its own.
Things That Are takes jellyfish, fainting goats, and imperturbable caterpillars as just a few of its many inspirations. In a series of essays that progress from the tiniest earth dwellers to the most far flung celestial bodies considering the similarity of gods to donkeys, the inexorability of love and vines, the relations of exploding stars to exploding sea cucumbers Amy Leach rekindles a vital communion with the wild world, dormant for far too long. Things That Are is not specifically of the animal, the human, or the phenomenal; it is a book of wonder, one the reader cannot help but leave with their perceptions both expanded and confounded in delightful ways.
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About the Author:
Of all the wondrous things that are catalogued in this brave little book, the most wondrously fresh and novel may be the uncanny Ms. Leach’s own gamin-sly, rhythm-rhymey voice, and oh that flint-flighty, rapt-capacious mind of hers. Besides which, no one conjures a presenter present tense than she. Sheer scrambling delight.”
Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder and Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative
Like a descendant of Lewis Carroll and Emily Dickinson, Amy Leach brings new meaning to the world without us, and within. A reader entering this book to learn more about the universe will exit knowing much more about her own self. At once large and intimate, these essays introduce one of the most exciting and original writers in America.”
Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and The Vagrants
I know of no other writer on earth or in the sky like Amy Leach. One of the pleasures of Things That Are is the surprise of finding, among the mouldywarps and whimwhams and leguminous exoplanets of our galaxy, truths about ourselves unearthed and unaired.”
Eula Biss, author of Notes from No Man’s Land
David Abram, author of Becoming Animal
In a series of essays that progress from the tiniest Earth dwellers to far-flung celestial bodies considering everything from the similarity of gods to donkeys, to exploding stars and exploding sea cucumbers Amy Leach (Rona Jaffe and Whiting Award winner) rekindles our communion with the world. This groundbreaking debut delights and confounds the senses in wondrous ways.
© Nate Christopherson
Amy Leach grew up in Texas, where she graduated with a BA from Southwestern Adventist College in 2000. Since receiving her M.F.A. in nonfiction creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2005, her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and reviews, including The Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, Orion Magazine, A Public Space, and Los Angeles Review. She has been recognized with the Whiting Writers’ Award (2010), a Best American Essays honor (2009), a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award (2008), and a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Amy Leach lives in Montana.
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