cover image Rue


Kathryn Nuernberger. BOA, $17 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-942683-97-1

Disillusionment, bigotry, and violence pervade the riveting third book from Nuernberger (The End of Pink) as sardonic social analysis and explorations of nature overlay a confessional narrative. Nuernberger illustrates the “varieties of performance,” the variations of happiness and the possibility for euphoria through unrelenting will: “If I try I can still/ at least talk myself into feeling like a celestial event.” She wisely and whimsically deconstructs her own preconceptions: “Sometimes I feel like every character/ I meet is an allegory of myself.” In her best moments, her voice holds an oracular, deceptively dry simplicity reminiscent of Rumi: “There is an old man who will not stop asking/ why. Our ears will not stop ringing with it./ There is an answer that is a silence that grows/ longer and deeper as you peer into it.” Nuernberger continually captivates the reader’s curiosity in these stylish lines. Confidently vulnerable and irreverently prophetic, Nuernberger provides the catharsis and insight that will turn new readers into loyal fans. (Apr.)