Consistently resisting easy categorization

Sat 24 Oct 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of Bones cover - click to view full sizeI think that’s my new favorite description, a t-shirt or a mug waiting to happen. When people ask what kind of books we publish they often have an idea already: short story collections that resist easy categorization — except Ben Rosenbaum’s collection, The Ant King, it being what it says on the label: Plausible Fabulism. But while that thing about short story collections is true, it’s only one part of a whole that changes half a dozen times or more every year when we publish another book.

Last week Charles Yu used that phrase to describe Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Entropy of Bones in the New York Times Book Review. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like books that consistently defy being stuck in a category, give it a shot:

“Jama-Everett’s book consistently resists easy categorization. Chabi’s mixed racial background offers a potentially nuanced look from a perspective that seems underserved. And by setting the book in a weird, if recognizable, Bay Area, ­Jama-Everett captures something about the way it feels to live so close to so much money and yet so far; he traces the differences between postindustrial East Bay towns, the gray melancholy of an older city, the particular feeling of struggling while surrounded by otherworldly wealth. If the book veers among different approaches — now a philosophical kung fu master story, now a seduction into a rarefied subculture, now an esoteric universe made from liner notes and the journal entries of a brilliantly imaginative teenager — there’s nevertheless a vitality to the voice and a weirdness that, while not always controlled or intentional, is highly appealing for just that reason.”

Read the first chapter on


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