by LUCY IVES
List Price: $16.95
Paperback | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 240 pages | ISBN 9781593765996
On Sale 03/09/2021
An energetic, witty collection of stories in which supernatural events meet the anomalies of everyday life: deception, infidelity, lost cats, cute memes, amateur pornography, and more.
A woman walks onto a tennis court. A woman has a conversation with a friend’s husband in a supermarket. A woman sees a painting at the home of an art collector. A woman goes on a run. A woman takes videos of a cat in a bodega. A woman answers a Craigslist ad to write erotic diaries for money.
Cosmogony takes accounts of so-called normal life and mines them for inconsistencies, cruelties, and delights. Incorporating a virtuosic range of styles and genres (Wikipedia entry, phone call, math equation, encounters with the supernatural, philosophies of time travel), these stories reveal how the narratives we tell ourselves and believe are inevitably constructed, offering a glimpse of the structures that underlie and apparently determine human existence–and which we ignore at our own peril.
A March 2021 Indie Next Great Read
“Ives writes boldly; her stories are strong and wild, as if she left the door open to the dream world and let all that magic saturate. Her writings are grounded in the real world, but there’s a shimmering rind to them, magical realism at its toughest. She’s also mastered that tricky art of creating beautiful content while offering an intimate and substantial reflection on very human happenings and feelings. Perfect for those who love the minds of women who are unafraid to blast boundaries apart.”
—Aimee Keeble, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC
"There is perhaps no author better able to confront the acute absurdities of our reality than Lucy Ives, who veritably tackles the derangements of our era with glee, clarity, and brilliance. In this story collection, Ives touches on the mundane—from memes to porn to errand-running—offering up a version of life that is all the more authentic for its wholly surreal elements (time travel; living underwater). But then, this is what Ives does best: By offering up a kaleidoscope rather than a microscope through which to view our world, she presents us with something more glittery and beautiful and endlessly faceted than we could see if we were looking at it with our own eyes." —Kristin Iversen, Refinery29, One of the Best New Books of the Year
"Ives grapples with information overload while exploring her characters’ deeply personal interiority in this inventive collection. Here, Mallarmé meets Craigslist, as a young translator takes a job writing the diaries of erotic online models in 'A Throw of the Dice' ... . The fascinating, dialogue-heavy 'Scary Sites' surfs between many topics, from Saturday Night Live to violence in literature, to Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s 'Perfect Smoky Eye.' The structurally ingenious 'Guy' takes the form of a casual stroll through Wikipedia’s hodgepodge of entries on Guy Fawkes and the Napoleonic Wars before settling into a startlingly intimate portrait of an affair. Through juxtaposition and collage, these stories illuminate the trickier fringes of life right now." —Publisher's Weekly
"In this collection of short stories, Ives time travels, hallucinates, and performs magic to speak about the mystical qualities of the mundane. The stories all meander into something unexpected before exploding in truth and keen observations of human nature...Ives has the rare ability to boomerang reality totally out of whack before calling it home in an even purer form." —Booklist
"Cosmogony, [Ives's] debut short story collection, takes on daily absurdities and the subtle supernatural, playing with format as she weaves in Wikipedia entries, text messages, and science equations." —Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year