It is a great, great pleasure to be able to announce Stalking Horse Press’ acquisition of A Long Curving Scar Where The Heart Should Be, by the brilliant Quintan Ana Wikswo. We will be publishing this October, and here at Stalking Horse, we could not be happier:
A searing, sensual novel with photographs, A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be weaves together southern fabulism and gothic fury, pulling at the restless, volatile threads of seditious American iconoclasts Zora Neale Hurston, Patti Smith, Cormac McCarthy, and Toni Morrison. At this devil’s crossroads of the King James Bible and the Egyptian Book of the Dead emerge the ghosts and realities of sex, race, violence, and hauntingly vulnerable emotion. Quintan Ana Wikswo has written an unforgettable and relentless reinvestigation of the American soul.
A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be unfolds on the unruly, mixed-race, queer-sexed margins of a conservative 1930s Southern town. In the wake of abandonment by her husband, an impoverished young midwife and her twin daughters create a hospice and sanctuary for the town’s outcasts within a deserted antebellum plantation house. The twins inhabit a fantastical world of ancient resistances, macabre births, glorious deaths, ravenous love affairs, clandestine sorceries, and secret madnesses—a site where the legacies of catastrophic injustice, bigotry, brutality, and grief contend with unquenchable desires for restitution, wholeness, sexual liberty, and lives of freedom outside the chokeholds of racism, misogyny and social constraint. Overshadowed by lingering scandals of miscegenation, the persistence of searing endemic violence, and a troubling secrecy surrounding their father’s disappearance, the women begin to walk into the discomforting limitations of their myths and wounds, and create their own new maps of sexual and personal fulfillment, resilience, and transformation. When the town claims that he is closer than they think, the women must decide whether his reappearance would offer wholeness, or unbearable consequences to their own hard-fought, courageous journeys towards existential insurrection.
Hailed as “heady, euphoric, singular, surprising” by Publisher’s Weekly, “universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy by Electric Literature, and “one of Brooklyn’s most engaging literary voices” by Greenlight Books, writer Quintan Ana Wikswo is the author of the hybrid text and photography collection The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far (Coffee House Press). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Conjunctions, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review and more. Her work combining literature, performance, and visual art is exhibited, performed, and published at museums and institutions in New York City, Los Angeles, Berlin, England, France, and are included in permanent collections and archives throughout the world.