by Karla Kelsey
Omnidawn, 2014
Paper: 978-1-890650-94-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3611.E473A6 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Karla Kelsey’s A Conjoined Book hinges together two texts—Aftermath and Become Tree, Become Bird—to create a meditation on the nature of aboutness. Aftermath unfolds after an unnamed ecological/emotional fracture, creating a landscape of rift where the “I” imagines herself as “she,” and perceptions weave into memory and fiction. Become Tree, Become Bird grafts the Brothers Grimm’s The Juniper Tree to the body of Aftermath, reworking what has splintered into a variation of fairy tale. Throughout A Conjoined Book, Kelsey’s condensed imagery, shifting viewpoints, and interwoven formal structures set lyric and narrative a-shimmer. Blending experiment and tradition, this book will appeal to a wide audience interested in seeing how fairy tale, philosophy, ecology, narratology, history. As Julie Carr writes: “horror, elegy, mystery, fairy tale, lyric, treatise, fragment meet one another with all their intensities of emotion and intellect.”

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