What is the body? In Jan Beatty's courageous, beautiful, and harsh new book, Boneshaker, the body is as horrifyingly without boundaries as the cosmos, as constricted as a prison cell. Language, too, is a body. At times it is stitched up tight in the strictures of narrative "So I walked in with a hard jones/ for the magic bullet that would make life/move again—still waiting for the get-off,/ the knowing-it's-over-but-I-want-you-anyway—/At the deck, nurses white and name-plated. . . ." At other times, chopped and opened up, not even a sentence survives intact. Restless with complacency and restriction, this book riccochets among a multitude of forms, tones, subjects. Boneshaker is a fierce, intelligent, terrifying interrogation of categories, among them the category of the book itself. Nothing is beyond the reach of this splendid new work.
Lynn Emanuel

Hard-hitting, sophisticated, lyrical exploration of the meaning of the body. Questions icons and invokes taboos.

104 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 2002

isbn : 9780822957799

about the author

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is professor of English and director of creative writing at Carlow University, director of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops, and distinguished writer in residence of the Carlow University MFA program. Her fifth book, Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, won the 2018 Paterson Prize, and her memoir, American Bastard, won the 2019 Red Hen Nonfiction Award.

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Jan Beatty