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The Ancestry of Objects

The Ancestry of Objects

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A young woman contemplates the end of her life as she's known it as tragedy after tragedy accumulates around her, threaded with her relationship to desire, consent, and control.

One of Literary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2020

"Ryckman’s The Ancestry of Objects accomplishes a difficult and compelling tension with lyrical prose that ropes readers into a nuanced depiction of the pleasure and pain of human relationships. She renders the figures of her fragmented novel with a stark tenderness, reflecting the beauty and unattractiveness of desire. There are no villains, no heroes, just complications between people whose flaws will draw readers to recognize themselves and our shared yearning to be known." —Donald Quist, author of Harbors and For Other Ghosts

"Tatiana Ryckman's second novel, The Ancestry of Objects, takes us deep into the labyrinth of eros and its manias. There is adultery, there is loneliness and abandonment, there is shame and longing, a family of ghosts, and there is a woman learning how to live and finally, how to love herself." —Micheline Marcom, author of The Brick House

"I’ve always loved Ryckman’s fiction, but nothing in the idiosyncratic originality of her short stories prepared me for her stunning novel with its dark eroticism, its plunge into depths of loneliness, and its quest for paradoxical liberation. Her extraordinary narrator lives in a state of erasure but thinks as plural: the social self for whom everything is always “fine”; the guilty, sinful self as defined by the now-dead grandparents; the self who needs to be seen through the outside eye of the absent lover, the absent God; and most of all, the self who feels dead in daily life and alive when courting an exuberant annihilation. In reading this powerful and disturbing short novel, I found myself splitting as well, into the reader who could not put these pages down, and the reader who had to, in order to regain her equilibrium and catch her throttled breath." —Diane Lefer, award-winning author of California Transit, playwright, and activist

"'It is us—our fear and our shame and our pride—and no one else that haunts us,' says the narrator (or narrators) of this harrowing, startling novel, told in the first person plural. From the moment I started reading, I felt the presence of T.R. Ryckman's unmistakable genius. You could compare it to Ben Marcus, Alexandra Kleeman, Brian Evanson or Carmen Machado, but really The Ancestry of Objects is in a category of its own." —Jess Row

“Ryckman writes with cool, tightly packed precision on the futile ways people try to fill the emptiness and absence of life with objects and religion and desperate acts. … A hypnotizing, bleak account of the ways people trap themselves in their own minds.” Kirkus Reviews

"Readers of lyrical, genre-bending fiction will be spellbound." Publishers Weekly

"A dizzying story of girl meets boy, meets her all-encompassing desire, meets her equally fervent wish to end her life, meets the mysteries and ghosts that have circled her whole life, meets . . . so much more. The girl in question, an unnamed narrator, has wells of need and want at her core, for which the boy, David, is an unwitting receptacle. Told in fragments, and memories, and various voices, The Ancestry of Objects whirls the reader through the narrator’s many selves as she attempts to reckon with the voids that we all contend with." —Julia Hass, Lit Hub Editorial Fellow

"The Ancestry of Objects is both urgent and lyrical, braiding together themes of consent and control, family ghosts, and epic tragedy. A young woman starts an affair with a married man she meets at a restaurant. Within that same week, she can’t stop thinking about ending her own life. Tatiana Ryckman’s darkly erotic new novel questions what it means to survive, and the ways in which we split our identities to do so." — "20 Small Press Books from 2020 You Might Have Missed,"Electric Literature

"This fractured, compacted text brings into question the inevitability of a life. Because a house—a home—a body, a life, is loaded with the refuse of our ancestors, the weight of domesticity and its many institutions, given form on these pages in peeling cupboards, worn formica, water rings and picked pile carpets. And to live is to carry those burdens."––Rose Hingham-Stainton,Ache Magazine

“Told with a technique that’s at once formally modern and timeless, Tatiana Ryckman’s new novel tells the story of an affair which takes both of its participants into extreme and harrowing places. The result is an unsettling and powerful story, told in a unique way.”—VOL.1 BROOKLYN 

"As of late - and I’ll thank Jenny Offill's thin, unnamed narrator works of genius for this and the pandemic push to gorge myself on as much variety as humanly possible- I’ve been drawn to smaller, more “fragmented” possibly - gasp - experimental work. Such as The Ancestry of Objects and its story of an affair told through the ephemera of such thing. This is no “chonker” but Ryckman’s prodding and dissecting of a tryst sounds fascinating. Also, the cover reminds me of books from the 1990s you might find in a, ahem, Lil’ Library on a Midwestern suburban street. Which, honestly, would’ve been all I needed.”—Noah Sanders,The Racket

"The book was heartbreaking to me at every turn. Even when there is pleasure, it feels debased. It is a rumination on being separate from and observing a life that isn't wanted, and even if examined, not understood... As I read the book I kept coming back to loneliness and how this was such a profound theme for so many during the pandemic, isolated from loved ones, alone at home, unable to hug, to wander, to feel any kind of real interaction." —Ben Tanzer, Lit Reactor

On I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do):

“(Ryckman) has joined the likes of Clarice Lispector, Claudia Rankine, and John Berger.” —Matthew Dickman, author of Mayakovsky’s Revolver

Ryckman has written the anti-love story within all of us. A book so earnest and sharp in its examination of heartbreak, it will make you ache for all the people you haven’t even loved yet.” —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls and No Tokens

“Keenly felt and fiercely written. Tatiana Ryckman is a revelation.” —Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel

“Tatiana Ryckman has written a wonder; a remarkably accomplished work of such keen observation and emotional complexity as to rival those texts—Maggie Nelson’s Bluets come to mind—with which it shares some literary DNA. Ryckman is a ruthless investigator of reckless desire … I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do) asks—newly, stunningly, with precise prose chiseled from stone—what it is we’re meant to do when the source of our appetite is beyond the realm of our own cognition, and following this narrator in pursuit of the unanswerable is a reading experience as gutting as it is thrilling. One finishes this book with the simple thought: Now here is a person.” —Vincent Scarpa

The Ancestry of Objects is both urgent and lyrical, braiding together themes of consent and control, family ghosts, and epic tragedy. A young woman starts an affair with a married man she meets at a restaurant. Within that same week, she can’t stop thinking about ending her own life. Tatiana Ryckman’s darkly erotic new novel questions what it means to survive, and the ways in which we split our identities to do so." Electric Literature

"Ryckman’s thickly lyrical language declines to commit to being either poetry or prose...The Ancestry of Objects is a meditation on social performance and the impossibility of presenting yourself in a singular role." — Sarah McEachern, Full Stop

“This quick novella recalls elements of weird Suburban melodrama...with a biting feminist urgency of disassociated subject...Ryckman’s prose is spare, occasionally moving into ironic detachment, and deadpan commentary...Ryckman delivers a virtuoso study in erotics: alluring, heavy throated, and weirdly sad.” — Joseph Houlihan, Entropy Mag

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Buch (Softcover)
200 Seiten
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