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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Bloomland by John Englehardt

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Bloomland by John Englehardt


Bloomland by John Englehardt


Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Hardcover: 200 pages
ISBN: 978-1-945814-93-8
Product Not Yet Released
Orders ship in August

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Bloomland opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate’s semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead.

In this richly textured debut, John Englehardt explores how the origin and aftermath of the shooting impacts the lives of three characters: a disillusioned student, a grieving professor, and a young man whose valuation of fear and disconnection funnels him into the role of the aggressor. As the community wrestles with the fallout, Bloomland interrogates social and cultural dysfunction in a nation where mass violence has become all too familiar.

Profound and deeply nuanced, Bloomland is a dazzling debut that walks in step with We Need to Talk About Kevin and the novels of Denis Johnson, Rachel Kushner, and Tom McAllister.


“In beautifully wrought prose, John Englehardt paints a searing portrait of violence and its aftermath, a haunting reckoning with death that shimmers and pulses with life.”
—Emily Geminder, author of Dead Girls

“Englehardt’s unflinching look at gun violence points to the many forms of social and cultural dysfunction that condition mass shootings and our inadequate responses to them. By presenting multiple perspectives, Englehardt boldly encourages readers to recognize the humanity of both victims and perpetrators. Bloomland ultimately offers a profound meditation on individual and collective grief and an arresting portrait of a society that refuses to countenance the complex causes and devastating human toll of gun violence.”
—Alice Hatcher, author of The Wonder That Was Ours

“Openhearted yet cold-eyed, alive with carnage and deep caring, Bloomland treats its central tragedy, a mass shooting, in a way that reveals its entire ragged, bleeding scope. John Englehardt couldn’t raise a more resonant wail of warning, as the mourners multiply till we too feel separated from the horror by only a few frail degrees. A handful of brave novels have tried to count the toll taken by such slaughters, but none match Bloomland for portraying the monster of mass violence as so irredeemably American..”
—John Domini, author of Movieola!


JOHN ENGLEHARDT’s work has appeared in Vol.1 Brooklyn, Sycamore Review, The Stranger, Seattle Review of Books, Conium Review, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas, and currently teaches writing classes at Hugo House in Seattle.