Friday, June 19, 2015

At the Moravian Writers' Conference two weeks ago, she had it with her. Her second-to-last ARC of I Crawl Through It, the forthcoming novel (September/Little, Brown) that early critics have been stunned by.

I'm always stunned by King. She has made an art form of the intelligent unexpected. The unanticipated odd. The somehow-cohering strange. She has run inversions like a flag through a foggy battleground and come out the other side, victorious.

And here, more than ever, she does it again. Takes a story about psyche-battered teens, converts it into a surrealist coda, introduces an invisible helicopter, a walking digestive system, a liar with Hairocchio tresses, parents who have not been listening, an onslaught of bomb threats, and comes out the other side with a rallying cry for any who have been hit hard, live guilt, wonder if they will survive.

It's not ordinary. It is not, at first, easy. It's not supposed to be. It makes all the sense in the world. It is weirdness made synthetic and humane.

You're going to be hearing about this book. You're going to have to get yourself an early copy. You're going to sit and wonder afterward why you didn't (before) see invisible helicopters. You're going to see them everywhere hereafter.

You want to know more? I could type in here the jacket copy, but instead I'm going to leave you with some Rudyard Kipling. Part of the poem he called "If." It's everything you need to know about I Crawl Through It and King's latest masterpiece.

If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:  ...


A.S. King said...

Thank you.
And what a perfect poem pairing. One of my favorites.

Ruth Setton said...

Beautiful, Beth! Makes me want to read it even more than I did when Amy spoke about it at Moravian!

Joyce Hinnefeld said...

Amy had me at the "walking digestive system" when she talked about this new novel at the conference. Now I really can't wait to read it!

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