Vanishing Monuments Book
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RELEASE DATE - 18 JUNE 2020
Alani Baum, a non-binary photographer and teacher, hasn't seen their mother since they ran away with their girlfriend when they were seventeen - almost thirty years ago. But when Alani gets a call from a doctor at the assisted living facility where their mother has been for the last five years, they learn that their mother's dementia has worsened and appears to have taken away her ability to speak.
As a result, Alani suddenly find themselves running away again - only this time, they're running back to their mother. Staying at their mother's empty home, Alani attempts to tie up the loose ends of their mother's life while grappling with the painful memories that - in the face of their mother's disease - they're terrified to lose.
Meanwhile, the memories inhabiting the house slowly grow animate, and the longer Alani is there, the longer they're forced to confront the fact that any closure they hope to get from this homecoming will have to be manufactured.
This beautiful, tenderly written debut novel by Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers winner John Elizabeth Stintzi explores what haunts us most, bearing witness to grief over not only what is lost, but also what remains.
"The real pleasure of reading John Elizabeth Stintzi's book is to see a sensitive mind work through an internal landscape, and to watch them do it with such patience and generosity."
Sara Majka, author of Cities I've Never Lived In
"Vanishing Monuments is a beautiful portrait of disassociation at once between countries, family, gender, identities, and, most importantly, 'the distance between ... you and yourself.' An absolute monumental achievement of a first novel."
Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed
"Vanishing Monuments is a remarkable novel, a beautiful puzzle of place and belonging, identity and vocation, duty and love. John Elizabeth Stintzi's writing is full of welcome and true surprise - I found myself underlining passages on every page, and then going back to underline more."
John K. Samson, musician and poet
"A camera 'takes time and holds it still, ' says the narrator's mother, and reading Vanishing Monuments is like sifting through a darkroom and watching scenes emerge and accrue into an assemblage of life. Memory haunts this novel, at once elusive and inescapable. Like the narrative itself, it loops, layers, seizes, erodes. And John Elizabeth Stintzi conjures it all with a gorgeously queer, off-kilter grace."
Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City
"A surreal, poetic meditation on the struggle to feel at home with the past, family, and one's own body."
|Author||John Elizabeth Stintzi