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The Illustrated Version of Things, The Illustrated Version of Things, 1573661473, 1-57366-147-3, 978-1-57366-147-8, 9781573661478, , , The Illustrated Version of Things, 1573668036, 1-57366-803-6, 978-1-57366-803-3, 9781573668033,

The Illustrated Version of Things
by Affinity Konar

Quality Paper
2009. 248 pp.
978-1-57366-147-8
Price:  $18.95 t
E Book
2011. 248 pp.
978-1-57366-803-3
Price:  $9.95 t

The Illustrated Version of Things is the tale of a young woman, raised in foster homes, juvenile halls, and a mental hospital, on a quest to reunite her disparate family and track down her missing mother. There are her grandparents, Holocaust survivors who reckon with history by staying in bed with their cowboy boots on; her father, a nurse who makes vitamins as a hobby; and her half-brother, an overachiever who doesn’t know whether his name is Moses or Miguel, but is certain that his sister isn’t capable of leading a steady life.
 More than these, she longs for her mother, and she embarks on a search that leads her into the company of pedophiles, vagrant gamblers, fortune tellers, and musical ghosts. Enchantment and conjured memories become her only hope for finding her mother, until she undertakes a last-chance gambit—voluntary incarceration in the jail that might hold her mother—that will either set her free or follow her for life.
 Konar’s characters, incredible, tragic, and sympathetic, keep us in a state of deranged rapture, making The Illustrated Version of Things an original and irresistible fiction debut.

Affinity Konar received a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. The Illustrated Version of Things is her first novel.

“Affinity Konar has invented a language. It’s sonorous, brilliant, and at least half insane; its word substitutions and trickery are both charming and maddening, reminding us of the thoughts we almost but never quite had. Like Samuel Beckett, this is literature for the superhuman: reading it makes us greater than we are.”—Lydia Millet

“Through sentences which gyre at the joints like flophouse fire-escapes and medical mannequins, Konar’s narrator shuttles through women’s prisons, nurses’ stations, foster homes, pedophiles’ apartments, principals’ offices, and magicians’ proprooms on her quest to reunite with her absent mother. Hers is an urgent errancy, an errant urgency; each vice meets its versa in the happy collisions and improvised relationships these sentences contrive.”
 
“Affinity Konar is a master of the most strange and seductive kind of deadpan exuberance. This novel wonderfully echoes some other great, funny writers (Elkin, Gombrowicz), but in the end it makes its own mark. The Illustrated Version of Things is a singular, and thrilling, debut.”—Sam Lipsyte

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