And then A.S. King read One Thing Stolen

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It took a long time and a lot of heartache to find my way through One Thing Stolen. I had an idea about vanishing and effacement. I am obsessed with birds and floods. I sometimes misplace things, especially names, and I have, therefore, a growing obsession with the mind and where it puts the things that once were.

I also have students I love. And I believe that language is plastic, that it must be taken apart and put back together again so that it might remain alive, so that our stories might live, too.

All of this became the web of the book called One Thing Stolen, and by the time I had finished it for real and taken the first 100 pages apart yet again— nanoseconds before it went off to the copy editor—I was in a quiet place. Bewildered by—and grateful to—the strange workings of the literary imagination.

I sought no blurbs for the book. It was going out there, bravely, on its own.

Two nights ago, a friend alerted me to some goings-on on Twitter. Did you see what A.S. King has written about One Thing Stolen? the friend asked. What I found there, on the Twitter stream, made me cry. It kept me up through most the night. An act of friendship so remarkable. Words I needed to hear.

When I wrote to thank Amy for her generosity, she offered to write a blurb for the book. Really? I said. Really, she said. Or something like that. She wrote not one, but two, and because I like them both so much I will share them here. These words will appear on reprint editions of One Thing Stolen (for the book has already gone to press) and everywhere else, starting now.

Grateful doesn't begin to describe it. Thank you, A.S. King.

Kephart at her poetic and powerful best. ONE THING STOLEN is a masterwork—a nest of beauty and loss, a flood of passion so sweet one can taste it. This is no ordinary book. It fits into no box. It is its own box—its own language.

ONE THING STOLEN is a tapestry of family, friendship, Florence, and neuroscience. I’ve never read anything like it. Kephart brings the reader so deep inside Nadia we can feel her breathe, and yet her story leaves us without breath.

 A.S. King is the author of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, Reality Boy, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and The Dust of 100 Dogs


Kelly Simmons said...

I LOVE "it is its own box" -- Indeed. Indeed.

A.S. King said...

You are so kind! But look--this isn't an act of friendship. Our friendship is secondary here. This book, had it been written by a complete stranger, would still have gobsmacked me and forced me to write to its author and say, "Can I please say something about how beautiful this book is?"

That said, our friendship means the world to me, and so it really isn't secondary to anything. It's early for me. I tend to contradict myself in the morning. But still. You know what I mean. <3

I love the book so much I could marry it.

Beth Kephart said...

Kelly and King. Right here together. I'm going to go lie down and call it day. A week? A year? Thank you, Kelly, and King, Your words right here — everything you've done and said — they mean the absolute world.

Aaron Hartzler said...

I love this post. And Beth, I discovered you because of Amy's tweet. She's truly one of the best friends a writer could have. I count myself lucky to claim her as such. I stayed up half the night reading your book about writing memoir. I never took a class before I wrote mine, but now I wish I had had your book. Can't wait to read One Thing Stolen, too.

Serena said...

Wow, that is fantastic. Those are the best blurbs ever! What a wonderful friend.

And now the book is moving up the list no matter what.

Amy said...

This ARC arrived while I was away on Christmas holiday much to my delighted surprise! And now I'm REALLY excited to read it :D congrats on lovely blurbs.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Even before this post I knew I had to read this book. Now I'm dying to. Beth Kephart and A.S. King are two of my favorite YA authors, so to have one blurb the other is heaven.

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