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Saturday, July 13 at 4PM
|Matt will appear in conversation with Callie Collins, Codirector of the new Austin-based small press A Strange Object. Callie said, "Matt Bell's debut novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, is first a story, a myth—a dreamlike examination of fatherhood and wilderness, of the turns of a marriage in the absence of all but the most basic elements of nature. Told by a voice at turns terrifying, brutal, hypnotic, and cyclical, In the House is other things, too: a plea and a tragedy and a challenge and an implication and a hellbent beast and a reimagining of the kind of mark fiction is supposed to make on its readers." |
In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods tells the story of a newly married couple who take up a lonely existence in the title's mythical location. In this blank and barren plot far from the world they've known, they mean to start the family the unnamed husband wants so obsessively. But their every pregnancy fails, and as their grief swells, the husband─a hot-tempered and impatient fisherman and trapper─attempts to prove his dominion in other ways, emptying both the lake and the woods of their many beasts. As the years pass, the wife changes too, her suddenly powerful voice singing some new series of objects into being, including a threatening moon hung above their house, its doomed weight already slowly falling, bending their now-starless sky.
In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is about marriage, parenthood, and the dreams parents have for their children─as well as what happens to a marriage whose success is measured solely by the children it produces, or else the grief that marks their absence.
MATT BELL is the author of Cataclysm Baby, a novella, and How They Were Found, a collection of fiction. His debut novel In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods will be published by Soho Press in June 2013. He is the Senior Editor at Dzanc Books, where he also edits the literary magazine The Collagist, and he teaches creative writing at Northern Michigan University.
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