Paperback, 380 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9984339-8-1

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 hardfought, courageous journeys towards existential insurrection.

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“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s A Long, Curving Scar peels back history to image, lyric and the body so viscerally I felt my skin shiver. Under the belly of the south, where its very sex sits, the women in this story bring themselves back to life.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of the Book of Joan

“Beautiful, horrifying, passionate, and bold. A Long Curving Scar is a fascinating chronicle of the effects of place and history on the individual, and a record of how little of the inequities of that history in this country have yet been held to account. I can think of few books this year that I felt were more necessary to read at this point in time and yet were also so very lyrical and so well-wrought as storytelling.” —Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy

“Quintan Ana Wikswo excavates imagery, memory, and desire in this book alight with a hot glow, the past burning into the present. She submerges history in its own mud and we watch it resurface—bubbling, bloody, and alive.” —Andrea Kleine, author of Calf and Eden

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s novel is of this year’s big amazements for me. It feels gigantic, a world torn to shreds and vivified by unsparing prose whose beauty is letter-perfect.” —Dennis Cooper

“Beautiful. Brutal. Poetic. Quintan Ana Wikswo reinvents American Southern Gothic, weaving a spell that is both horrific and heartbreaking. Mandatory reading.” —Lydia Lunch

“In glittering, tender, and terrifying language, Wikswo takes us to see the deep truths of the human body and soul–the damage that is wrought when society pushes some of its people to the margins and declares them worthless, and, despite the odds, that fierce love and life that can grow at those margins. I finished this book with my stomach beating and my heart trying to fly, spurred by joy and rage and pain and truth.” -Samantha Stiers

“With A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be, Wikswo not only subverts our definition of the novel; but she devours it, turning it inside out and coaxing it’s delicious innards out into the light. Even now, the heart—it’s still beating! This magical book is the rare work that makes impossible promises and leads you to the edge of the cliff. Then, it holds your hand while you jump off, together.” -Craig Foltz


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