Our Own Island

29 Dec

I feel like I’ve not heard much at all about Our Island of Epidemics by Matthew Salesses, the latest winner of PANK’s annual chapbook contest, and I’m completely baffled why the internet hasn’t blown up about this yet. A quick Googling only turned up a handful of reviews and interviews. I just sent a copy to Chris Higgs for the HTMLGiant Secret Santa, so perhaps he’ll do some pimping there at the Giant. *nudge*

Anyway, this book.

I want to open up Salasses’s head. I want to scalpel his scalp, and I want there to be inside all of illustrator Luca Didipierro’s characters moving about in their tender miseries and outbreaks. I want them to spill out like Athena. I want them to sneeze on me their epidemics of laziness, of magic, of unrequited love,their epidemic of disassociation especially, to feel the want and weight of their epidemic of hunger, the swell of my chest during the epidemic of unstoppably growing hearts.

I want you to read this book. I want us to meet somewhere at the edge of the sea, maybe at the tip of Florida, and build a raft. We will find our own island, and we will move there. We will with us all our friends, and maybe their friends, but not their friends’ friends, because that would grow the number too many. We must have room to grow ourselves.

It will begin with a want and a lonely that burns at the back of the nose. The person with the burning will look up into the sun, and the light will force their sneeze, and our own history will begin.

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7 Responses to “Our Own Island”

  1. Roxane Gay December 30, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Thanks for discussing this book, Chris. I too am curious as to why this book hasn’t really… gained any momentum. We love it so very much. We’re hoping we can put it in lots of hands at AWP!

    • ce. December 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

      It’s a really great read. I’m going to push it hard at the table.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. PANK Blog / The Week Between Is Really the Worst Week. These Words Will Make It Better - December 30, 2010

    […] Newgent writes some beautiful things about Our Island of Epidemics, which, by the way, is still on […]

  2. Happy New Year « Matthew Salesses - January 3, 2011

    […] other news, Christopher Newgent has some nice words to say about Our Island of Epidemics at vouched.com. Our Island is still on sale at PANK for […]

  3. Happy Friday! « - January 7, 2011

    […] So, I’ll be outside Big Car Gallery, as per usual, and you should stop by and say hey and buy some words from me. New on the table tonight is Matthew Salasses’s new chapbook from PANK, Our Island of Epidemics, which I sort of reviewed here. […]

  4. The Week Between Is Really the Worst Week. These Words Will Make It Better | [PANK] - October 11, 2014

    […] Newgent writes some beautiful things about Our Island of Epidemics, which, by the way, is still on […]

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