NOVELS AND SHORT STORIES BY AUTHOR

PUBLISHER
Kaya/Muae

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5 x 7 in. / 166 pgs / 3 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 1999

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781885030269 TRADE
List Price: $10.95 CDN $16.00 GBP £9.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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KAYA/MUAE

Roughhouse

By Thaddeus Rutkowski.

Roughhouse gives a harrowingly deadpan account of the tedium, casual violence and deviant sex that connect a surreal, semi-rural childhood with adult urban neurosis. Terse flashes of narrative, told from the point of view of a troubled youth, provide a stark sketch of an American family on the brink: a gun-toting father prone to inexplicable rages; a mother who speaks in ineffectual, half-remembered Chinese homilies; siblings rendered almost mute from excessive bleakness. And there’s the narrator himself, who responds to the torment of home and neighborhood bullies with increasingly aberrant behavior, including sexual bondage and a form of pyromania that requires placing a paper bag over one’s head and igniting it. In spare, unrelenting prose that has been honed to a point, Rutkowski ferrets out the hard bone of absurdity at the center of emotional displacement.

Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and now lives in New York. His work has been published in numerous publications, including Fiction magazine and The New York Times. He is a winner of the Nuyorican Poets Café’s Poetry Slam.

“[Rutkowski’s] sulfuric tale of family breakdown and fetishism chronicles the confusion and opacity of traumatic childhood even as it criticizes the American society that tolerates such inhumanity.”— Publishers Weekly

“Rutkowski gives us a novel in bites and slices: sharp, shocking, and certainly not for the faint-hearted. Here is gall with gusto, a voice of reckoning, and writing to be reckoned with.” — Molly Peacock
Roughhouse

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FROM THE BOOK
"I lit a candle and let it burn until wax pooled below the flame.
Then I poured the liquid onto my skin. The drops stuck and hardened.
When I peeled off the disk-shaped flakes, I saw pink blisters.
I gathered the used wax and pressed it around a string. I lit
the string, expecting it to work like a wick, but the flame went
out as soon as it reached the wax.
There was a trick to burning myself, I realized, that someday
I would have to learn."

Excerpt is from Roughhouse by Thaddeus Rutkowski.

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Pub Date: 2/19/2019
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Active | In stock