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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  7 reviews
How does Renee Gladman manage to make language different from itself? How does she make space different from itself too? In this short novel there is an expansive mystery, but I don t think it exists to be solved. There is "Bze," but there is also fried fish. There is a city with structures in it that multiply or are "half-articulated," where climate dictates how the city ...more
Hardcover, 43 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Solid Objects
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Lee Klein
Got this with Event Factory and prioritized them ahead of everything else in closet stocked with unread books after seeing a bookseller's thread about "stylistically and formally innovative novels by women published by small presses," saying that future academics will study this author's work. I hadn't heard of her, thought the descriptions seemed interesting, especially the shadowy world-building aspects, and excitedly ordered two books. Read this in one sitting on the train into work. It's ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This slim book is poetic, dreamlike, hypnotic at times and confusing quite a bit of the time.
This is my first reading of Renee Gladman. She says she wrote this ten years ago "at the end of a strange trip, where a rat crawled over my back in my sleep."

"The place I was going was neither Sespia nor "Ahnka," and that's why I didn't want to talk about it. Yet going there would address the problem of the sentence. No one told me this. It's just that ever since I saw the train station I knew what I had
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Morelia makes enough sense and has enough of a plot to be readable, but it lacks emotion and is plagued by nonsensical sentences fused with confused isolation.

Part of me thinks I must be missing something here, but a greater part believes that there isn't anything there to miss.

What good is abstraction by itself? It appears to have no anchor.
Jared Levine
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No one writes like Renee Gladman. To be dropped into Morelia, on a day like today, in a haze, with the word “Bze” both fitting uncomfortably in the mouth but also looming above, is a constant pleasure. To visit Morelia is a trip of language, mystery and intrigue. I remain in constant awe of Renee Gladman. What a gift she is.

—Jared, City Lights Bookstore
“I look at the book again and wonder if it could be our remedy, if I should go into it instead of out this door. Yet, having dressed so concisely for moving freely about the city, could I now, all of a sudden, switch to a burrowing-in persona, because that’s what you need to ‘enter’ a book. To get ‘in’ you need to dig and get skinny and lose your voice; but you don’t need to go outside, which is just the repetition of everything.”


“You go, but going is like staying where you are, just with your
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
How often do you read a book that is entirely new? Characters, places, story, mystery, landscape, phrases, everything. I read this during a single cup of tea on a Friday morning off from work, which feels right.
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A brief and poetic language mystery with touches of noir and espionage novel nestled inside
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Born in Atlanta, GA, in 1971, Renee Gladman studied Philosophy at Vassar College and Poetics at New College of California. In addition to Calamities, she is the author of eight works of prose, including the Ravicka novels Event Factory (2010), The Ravickians (2011), and Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (2013), as well as a book of poetry, A Picture-Feeling. Her most recent work of fiction Morelia is ...more
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