Thursday, January 10, 2013

Covering the rough terrain of academic pseudo-poetic license

I seem to be on the marketing director's e-mail list at the University of Nebraska Press. He, she, he/she, he becoming she, she becoming he, or it is determined to keep your blogger au courant with the latest in academic literary disease.

The university press's latest contribution to the "American Lives Series" is Body Geographic. Its description is similar to what used to be called by the publishing world schoolgirl style, except that this is the kind of writing you might get if a schoolgirl were to age bodily while returning to the birth canal mentally.

Fasten your seat belt, it's going to be a bumpy read.
A memoir from the award-winning author of My Lesbian Husband, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself. ...

Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian—Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map. 
Block that metaphor!
Body Geographic is dizzying in its inward sweep, daring in its outflung absorption. Barrie Jean Borich tunnels through time, space, sex, and language to give us a new map projection of the North American continent, a distortion that not only clarifies and illuminates but dissolves for good the boundary between personal and public history.”—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?
My own personal tunnel through the shards of flex time has taken me through grasping and gasping wheels within wheels of alternative epistemology. I have sounded my barbaric tin whistle over the E-Z Pass gates of rigorous tumult. Yet though I reach for handholds in the spin cycle of flashy dreams, all I can say is, "No, Alison, I am not your mother."


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