Folkland Book Club featuring books from Small Press Distribution

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Join us on Zoom for a monthly book club featuring titles from Small Press Distribution. To reserve a free copy of our latest book (while supplies last) and to get a Zoom invitation, call Christy Thomas at 510-238-6570. 

OUR FEBRUARY 2021 BOOK CLUB PICK: Houses of Ravicka by Renee Gladman

Ravicka's comptroller, author of "Regulating the Book of Regulations," seems to have lost a house. It is not where it's supposed to be, though an invisible house on the far side of town, which corresponds to the missing house, remains appropriately invisible. Inside the invisible house, a nameless Ravickian considers how she came to the life she is living, and investigates the deep history of Ravicka—that mysterious city-country born of Renee Gladman's philosophical, funny, audacious, extraordinary imagination.

"Gladman inverts 1984 in her inventive fourth novel"—Publisher's Weekly

"The Ravikian novels exalt the primacy of language to further imaginative possibility, which dominant and oppressive regimes would shut down. Gladman's writing cleaves to the luminous. It slips through the gaps in our thinking to pluralise, queer, subvert, and mobilise. These books are strange but, through a bright and deft poetic obliquity, they shine an incomparable light onto our contemporary moment."—The White Review

"HOUSES OF RAVICKA is certainly the most plot-heavy of the Ravicka series, with a central problem that never truly gets resolved, but its joy, as with the previous novels, lives in Gladman's whimsical approach to crafting sentences and situations that are at once absurd and illuminating."—The Village Voice

"Jakobi is sometimes a man and sometimes a woman; an old acquaintance seizes control of the narration and then gets folded up and put away in a pocket; an unnamed person who lives in the invisible No. 32 claims the entire second part of the novel to reflect on the history of Ravicka's invisible architecture. These fantastical details add up in a way that might have more in common with performance or installation art than with the expectations brought on by the assumption of a story."—Kirkus

"The Ravicka books—flagships of the elegant small press Dorothy—are what usually get classified as 'poet's novels,' like Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red or My Life by Lyn Hejinian, but in this case, that's a cop-out. Gladman writes and publishes poetry, nonfiction, and novels with the same frequency. I doubt she makes much distinction between disciplines (and in fact she resembles a visual artist in her staunch pursuit of a theme through varied layers of form and abstraction)."—BOMB Magazine

Renee Gladman is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, including her series of fictional works set in the imaginary city-state of Ravicka: EVENT FACTORY (2010), THE RAVICKIANS (2011), ANA PATOVA CROSSES A BRIDGE (2013), and HOUSES OF RAVICKA (2017), all available from Dorothy, a publishing project. CALAMITIES (Wave Books, 2016) is a collection of linked essays on writing and experience. PROSE ARCHITECTURES (Wave Books, 2017) is her first monograph of drawings. MORELIA (Solid Objects, 2019), a novel, is her latest. She lives in New England with poet-ceremonialist, Danielle Vogel.


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