Nothing In Mind

Asymmetrical Press
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Wagner’s work has been described as “trenchant,” “entrancing,” and “a force to be reckoned with.” This collection of short stories, poems, and essays combines some of his most penetrating writing from the past decade with a handful of new, previously unpublished pieces, including:

The secret mythology of the American pioneers.

A tale of a suicidal dragon who makes a remarkable self-discovery.

The saga of a simple man who decides he no longer needs to breathe.

A fable about a moon that is filled with water.

The story of an introvert who pretends to be a Jehovah’s Witness so that he can finally make a friend.

Along with stories of gothic and Lovecraftian horror, surreal microfiction, short essays on inspiration and courageous living, and poems on natural mystery, passion, and social justice.

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About the author

 Josh Wagner was living in the middle of the desert with his dog Lucyfurr in 2008 when Ape Entertainment released his first graphic novel, Fiction Clemens. Since then he’s traveled all over the planet, spinning stories out of what he finds. Outside of his comics work Josh is the author of four novels: Smashing LaptopsDeadwind Sea, The Adventures of the Imagination of Periphery Stowe, and his newest work, Shapes the Sunlight Takes. He’s also written half a dozen plays (including Salep & SilkRinging OutBleach Bone).

In his spare moments he reads too much, gets lost in the woods, and dances until they kick him out of the bar. In 2014 Josh is releasing two books: a new novel through Asymmetrical, and his novella, Mystery Mark, a collaboration with illustrator Theo Ellsworth and Viscosity Theatre. Josh blogs and promotes the arts at NothingInMind.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Asymmetrical Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2015
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781938793981
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / Essays
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Nine million different shapes for the sunlight to take. Nine million different ways light slows itself down to experience time.”

Lexie, a 15 year old outcast, believes she can see the future.

When her best friend’s dropout brother Derwin rides back into town, Lexie has a vision that he and her senior crush, Mirielle, are destined to have a child who will grow up to save the world. The problem is, Mirielle and Derwin hate each other. But Lexie believes it’s up to her to bring them together, if only for one night.

The conflict between her own desire for Mirielle and her allegiance to her vision drives Lexie to seek answers from the old folks at a high-tech retirement home, a clique of self-proclaimed eco-terrorists, and a story her ex-girlfriend once told her about a grotesque tongue that seduces souls at the world’s end.

Shapes the Sunlight Takes is coming-of-age magical realism about the relationships we make with our past and future selves, where the search for perspective in a world of self-deception culminates in a final showdown between Lexie’s imagination and the fate of the universe.

 

“Wagner’s novel does what all good novels should do: it made me think about the way that I think…. an odd, intimate story about the messy and complicated relationship between reality and fantasy.”

– Theo Ellsworth; Capacity, The Understanding Monster 


“With an attention to feelings and language that I’m inclined to describe as enviable…. Wagner remembers what it’s like to be a teenage lesbian and does the dirty work of reminding the rest of us.”

– Molly Laich; Missoula Independent

"Part treatise, part memoir, part call to action, Tell Me How It Ends inspires not through a stiff stance of authority, but with the curiosity and humility Luiselli has long since established." —Annalia Luna, Brazos Bookstore

"Valeria Luiselli's extended essay on her volunteer work translating for child immigrants confronts with compassion and honesty the problem of the North American refugee crisis. It's a rare thing: a book everyone should read." —Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books

"Tell Me How It Ends evokes empathy as it educates. It is a vital contribution to the body of post-Trump work being published in early 2017." —Katharine Solheim, Unabridged Books

"While this essay is brilliant for exactly what it depicts, it helps open larger questions, which we're ever more on the precipice of now, of where all of this will go, how all of this might end. Is this a story, or is this beyond a story? Valeria Luiselli is one of those brave and eloquent enough to help us see." —Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company

"Appealing to the language of the United States' fraught immigration policy, Luiselli exposes the cracks in this foundation. Herself an immigrant, she highlights the human cost of its brokenness, as well as the hope that it (rather than walls) might be rebuilt." —Brad Johnson, Diesel Bookstore

"The bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration, the dangers of searching for a better life, all of this and more is contained in this brief and profound work. Tell Me How It Ends is not just relevant, it's essential." —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore

"Humane yet often horrifying, Tell Me How It Ends offers a compelling, intimate look at a continuing crisis—and its ongoing cost in an age of increasing urgency." —Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books

A Modest Proposal is a satirical essay written and published by Jonathan Swift. Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general. In English writing, the phrase "a modest proposal" is now conventionally an allusion to this style of straight-faced satire. Swift goes to great lengths to support his argument, including a list of possible preparation styles for the children, and calculations showing the financial benefits of his suggestion. He uses methods of argument throughout his essay which lampoon the then-influential William Petty and the social engineering popular among followers of Francis Bacon. These lampoons include appealing to the authority of "a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London" and "the famous Psalmanazar, a native of the island Formosa." This essay is widely held to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language. Much of its shock value derives from the fact that the first portion of the essay describes the plight of starving beggars in Ireland, so that the reader is unprepared for the surprise of Swift's solution when he states, "A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout." Readers unacquainted with its reputation as a satirical work often do not immediately realize that Swift was not seriously proposing cannibalism and infanticide. The satirical element of the pamphlet is often only understood after the reader notes the allusions made by Swift to the attitudes of landlords, such as the following: "I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children." Swift extends the conceit to get in a few jibes at England’s mistreatment of Ireland, noting that "For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it."
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