[PANK] Books

 

In January 2014, Tiny Hardcore Press will absorb [PANK] Books. Good things will follow. Stay tuned.

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I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND
by Myfanwy Collins
ISBN: 978-0-9824697-9-8
2013 [PANK] Books
192 Pages
Price: $14.95
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Is there hope within even the darkest hearts? A woman has sex with her dead mother’s husband. A child sleeps in a makeshift nest. A sister betrays a sister. A woman takes on the persona of a dead prostitute. All are in search of that which eludes them: an acknowledgment of a shared past, the fulfillment of a secret desire, a tenuous connection made whole. Within I Am Holding Your Hand an array of tender, stark, authentic, and sometimes very lost souls discover a reason to live through their capacity to see beauty in the everyday and instead of coming to conclusions, they discover a way to begin again.

“Much of the appeal of Collins’s fiction comes from the idiosyncratic way that the longer stories unfold, their lurch from subject to subject challenging convention, but possessing an inner logic that conforms to character. Typically, initially disjointed subjects dovetail to resonant climaxes.” – Publishers Weekly

“Myfanwy Collins doesn’t just have the best name in literature-saying ‘Myfanwy’ is like hosting a party in your mouth-she also has some of the best literature in literature. There aren’t many authors anymore who I love unconditionally. I may enjoy a few of their stories, or I’ll love their last novel but not their new novel. Nobody hits it out of the park every time. Except Myfanwy, who has yet to write anything that doesn’t make me unreasonably happy and thankful that somebody invented words and paper and ink so that these stories could exist. If it was legal for me to marry a work of fiction, then I would be faced with a truly uncomfortable and impossible choice. I’d just have to marry all of the stories in I Am Holding Your Hand, which I guess would make me a polygamist. A fiction polygamist, no less. I’m okay with that.” – Eric Spitznagel, author, journalist, humorist

“Wow! Collins takes hold of the reader’s hand right from the get-go with the hardest integrity and softest touch. With its recovered past of lyrical possibilities and tough truths,  this collection of stories-long and short-embodies that desire for something, somewhere. It’s about people splinting apart, binding back together. It’s about a brilliant writer reaching out, pulling you in, leaving you breathless and gasping for more.” – Randall Brown, author of Mad to Live

I Am Holding Your Hand is a heartfelt collection of deaths: deaths of people, dreams, love, and hope. In this gritty collection, Myfanwy Collins gives voice to characters learning to live on despite such deaths. Characters who often act badly, but who are all the more believable and sympathetic because of their mistakes, failings, and struggles. Myfanwy Collins brings such compassion and tenderness to her stories while never sparing the stark truths. One of her characters tells us, The air was so sparse that our breath whispered back into our mouths to feed us. These stories whispered into me. They fed me.” – Ethel Rohan, author of Hard to Say and Cut Through the Bone

“No writer working today combines the beautiful and the ugly, the transcendent and the devastating, with as much tenderness and candor as Myfanwy Collins. The stories in I Am Holding Your Hand are by turns profound, elemental, heartbreaking. Collins’ voice is fresh and fierce and alive. This is quite simply one of the best short story collections I have read in recent times.” – Kathy Fish, author of Together We Can Bury It and Wild Life

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HARD TO SAY
by Ethel Rohan
ISBN: 978-0-9824697-6-7
2011 [PANK] Books
54 Pages
Price: Sold Out

“The stories in Hard To Say, the work as a whole, will knock the breath right out of your lungs. Ethel Rohan’s writing is the real deal: unadorned, brave, compassionate and impossible not to read in one sitting. You’ll want to share this with the people you love best, the ones you trust to understand how painful life can be; and how exquisite, how necessary the expression of that fact, in the hands of a true artist, can also be.” -Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

“Like the whispered secrets and silent prayers that play throughout, a rising and relentless tension builds. Rohan’s strong, precise prose shines across this collection of lost innocents like a comet made of cut glass.” -Amelia Gray, author of Threats

“Ethel Rohan’s Hard To Say is simply magnificent. How else to describe these stories where characters, always on the verge of opening their hearts to the world, turn from the chance again and again? The urgency in these stories is so palpable, the tension between mother and daughter so well rendered, I found myself pacing as I read, unable to keep still. Standing on the opposite side of the room, an ache opening somewhere within, there was no need to ask how I’d gotten there. The answer was in my hands.” -Eugene Cross, author of Fires of Our Choosing

“Ethel Rohan’s stories are small, but they feel vast and bold. And she leads you through them desperately, like a ghost through the ruins of the world.” -Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some For the Day

“Hard to say, but Ethel Rohan does in tremendous words that hold up a mirror to the struggles of a family, a little girl, a young woman, a mother, a life. The stories in this collection read like crossing a river by way of rocks; unsteady, precarious, exhilarating and scary.  But Ethel takes our hand and guides us, showing us a fragile beauty just under the surface.” -xTx, author of Normally Special

“An Irish daughter struggles with her relationship with her mother, who drinks, beats, goes blind, loses her sanity. The stories in this aptly titled book are relentless, full of terror, frighteningly true. Ethel Rohan’s rhythms will get inside you.” -Matthew Salesses, author of Our Island of Epidemics

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OUR ISLAND OF EPIDEMICS
by Matthew Salesses
ISBN: 978-0-9824697-3-6
2010 [PANK] Books
40 Pages
Price: Sold Out

Fourteen tiny tales recount the story of a community of island dwellers who catch their island’s strange and fleeting epidemics-epidemics like memory loss, unrequited love, magic, extrasensitive hearing, talking to animals, and dissociation-and the relationship that the people of the island have with their home, with each other, and with the diseases. That is, until one man becomes immune. Watch the trailer.

“Extended sickness, packed-in sexspace, a she-god named Sam, stone sandwiches, ganglions, weight gain, dookers, spells of fainting: this book about making a book is full of hell, though a giddy kind of hell you might like to read aloud to someone loving, to share its magic logic, its dragonfruit, its rare disease.” -Blake Butler, author of Scorch Atlas and Ever

“I loved this book. Matthew Salesses creates a new world and pours his entire imagination into it. There’s so much magic. I felt it on my fingertips while reading. I’ll say it again – I loved this book.” -Shane Jones, author of Light Boxes

“On Matt Salesses’ strange and infectious Island, dragonfruit have wings and the aftertaste of fire, illness is freedom, dreams are shared, and interventions are staged to stop citizens’ obsessing. You may fall in love with these small stories of free will and fate, but they might not requite you. And while their epidemic of short term memory loss might make it impossible for them to remember you, you will recall them: magical and complex.” -Kathleen Rooney, author of For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs

“One of the great feats of fiction is to create a world where anything can happen. Matthew Salesses has done this with Our Island of Epidemics and, in doing so, he has revealed the great difficulty of the human condition.” -Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody

“Unrequited love, dissociation, unstoppably growing hearts, extrasensitive hearing-these are just a few of the epidemics that strike the island at the center of Matthew Salesses’ dazzling collection. The voice of the island’s inhabitants is hypnotic, and Salesses’ exploration of the epidemics and their effect, of the ways we construct history and identity, are surprising and smart and richly, devastatingly human. With Our Island of Epidemics, Salesses has established himself as a brilliant new force in contemporary fiction. I loved this book, and I would gladly follow the author anywhere.” -Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

“In Our Island of Epidemics, Matthew Salesses conjures from the sea a nation populated by a people struck together by one universal affliction after another. This is a citizenry more unified than that of our own land, but also one whose members have nowhere to turn for aid from their various ailments, their short-term memory loss, their unrequited loves, their fits of magic and insomnia and shared dreams. It is only from within their ranks that they might find the means to prevail through a series of charming interventions and endless sincerity, and through the telling of their story, this one one you hold now in your hands, the fantastic tale of those longest and strangest years yet seen upon their island.” -Matt Bell, author of How They Were Found

“Despite the plague of frustration and hardship that is Matthew Salesses’ Island of Epidemics, it’s a place I’d like to visit, just to live the language and ingenuity of its creator. Salesses is a crack shot in pinpointing how we all cope, nailing this microcosm of humanity within these little stories. They are all fantastic and hilarious and beautiful, well beyond their length, well beyond any island.” -Michael G Czyzniejewski, Editor, The Mid-American Review

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HOW TO TAKE YOURSELF APART, HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF ANEW
by Aaron Burch
ISBN: 978-0-9824697-2-9
2009 [PANK] Books
51 Pages
Price: Sold Out

Restless, reckless, and wise, Aaron Burch throws stones across the mythological waters of identity formation, each bounce and ripple interrogating anew not only how we see ourselves and the world we inhabit, but how we got there and where we’re going. Opening the door to his cabinet of curiosities, we accept as invitation Burch’s example of self-evisceration and learn to embrace with pride our messy contents as they spill out onto the table.

“These secret instructions, these rustic observations and tiny tales, are deceptively quiet. They steal in with a few cool words and then explode with creativity and light.” -Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation

“In this collection of concise, often surreal commands and narratives on how to cope with, and ultimately overcome, the loss of a lover, family member, and even yourself, Burch deftly blurs the line between the real and imagined, offering a lucid dream world where anything is possible and the bricks of the past act to strengthen the foundation of what’s to come.” -Mel Bosworth, Outsider Writers Collective

“…takes the tangible concrete instructions of folding paper, finding shapes in clouds, making connections with those around us, and turns them into weapons, uses them to impale us, makes a father a spearhead and launches it through our sternums. Burch is somehow lovingly violent with words.” -JA Tyler, The Chapbook Review

“Aaron Burch has done it again. In his latest chapbook, released via PANK, he paints your imagination with images by developing words, phrases, and grammar exactly the way writers everywhere wish they could.” -Glen Binger, The Broadset Collective

“HOW TO TAKE YOURSELF APART, HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF ANEW reads like an instruction manual for the transformation from the dream of childhood to the reality of the adult world. It’s nostalgia combined with longing that grips its reader and guts him/her like the fish that begins this compelling narrative. Made of small parts, each its own story of breaking down and/or rebuilding, the book coheres in the way fragments of dreams arrange themselves in the waking hours to make the kind of sense that transcends the neat paraphrase of self-help and talk show vernacular. In other words, it does what literature should do: inform, entertain, unsettle.” -Christopher Kennedy