Further Adventures in the Restless Universe
March 1, 2010 · Dzanc Books
120 pages · 6.4" x 8"
$14.95 · ISBN 978-0976717799
Author: Dawn Raffel
Publishers: Steven Gillis and Dan Wickett
Press Release (PDF)
Book Cover (Web Quality)
Book Cover (Print Quality)
Author Photo (Web Quality)
Author Photo (Print Quality)
When Dawn Raffel was a very small child, her father used to read to her nightly from The Restless Universe--a layman's guide to physics by the Nobel Laureate Max Born. Although she loved the time spent with her father, she didn't--despite his statements to the contary--comprehend a word of the physics. It was her first recognition that love so often comes with imperfect understanding.
The 21 stories in Further Adventures in the Restless Universe are about fathers, daughters, mothers, sisters, husbands, wives, strangers, lovers, sons, neighbors, kings, death, faith, astronomical phenomena, and the way the heart warps time. Of her previous work, one reviewer stated, "Raffel takes conventions and smashes them to bits," and another called it "extreme literature." Of Further Adventures, Publishers Weekly says, "Raffel's stripped-to-the-bone prose is a model of economy and grace."
Dawn Raffel's stories are like prismatic drops of rain, hanging from the edge of a roof or sliding down a windshield, reflecting an entire world within. The language of motherhood, of adulthood, of childhood — the language of family and individual — has never been like this. Sly and probing, with the sting of precision and pain.
In Dawn Raffel's Further Adventures in the Restless Universe the oppressive truth of our mortality unsettles but does not vanquish the spirit. The woman as drudge may be "a failure at folding," but she is a rare songmaker whose dialogues with a son, a sister — the usual figures from the family romance — make for a musical and philosophical call and response. The son proposes one way to keep birds from crashing into fatally clear windows is to "open the windows all over the world." These stories promise more life. Take them to heart!
Readers have come to expect from Dawn Raffel’s prose nothing less than the syllable-by-syllable perfections of purest poetry and the boldest wisdom a human heart can hold. Her new collection of pithy, exquisite fictions about the timeless crises of mothers, daughters, and wives is breathtaking and haunting in its majestic exactitudes.
Less has never been more than in Dawn Raffel's Further Adventures in the Restless Universe. These spare, high-intensity stories of brave people at the end of their ropes are not only models of writerly integrity, but monuments of the spirit asserting itself out of the depths of silence.
—David Gates, author of The Wonder of the Invisible World
The stories in Dawn Raffel's astonishing Further Adventures in the Restless Universe (Dzanc) as as sharp and bright as stars.
--Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
Raffel’s work sits comfortably with that of authors like Amy Hempel and Diane Williams: Her prose is intense enough to make even everyday topics seem fire-hot.
--Time Out New York