Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd
Published:30th Mar '23
Available for immediate dispatch.
'Exquisite . . . readers will find themselves transformed by it' Claire Lynch
'Stunning . . . dazzlingly laser-like and movingly original' Lara Feigel
'Inventive and searching' Calvin Bedient
'I am awestruck . . . a masterpiece' Mary Gordon
The stunningly original exploration of pregnancy and childbirth by the acclaimed author of Citizen
In this, the landmark achievement that crowned the first phase of her writing career, Claudia Rankine invites us into the lives of Liv and her husband Erland, as they find themselves propelled into the classic plot: boy loves girl, girl gets pregnant. The couple's journey is charted through dreams, conversations and reflections, in a text like no other, deftly moulding language and crossing genres to arrive at new life: baby Ersatz.
Plot is an inventive and engrossing meditation on pregnancy and the changes it heralds: the potential bodily cost, the loss of self, the sense of impending stasis. Each fear compounds Liv's reluctance to bring new life into a bewildering world. A profoundly daring collection, it explodes the emotive capabilities of language and form to achieve an unparalleled understanding of creation and existence.
Exquisite . . . This collection is made from language to live on and in. It's the sort of book you read with your body as much as your mind. I'm quite sure readers will find themselves transformed by it -- Claire Lynch
It's both stunning and utterly logical that before embarking on the landmark American Trilogy where she would tackle the largest themes of public life with such personal detail and vehemence, Claudia Rankine's writing was grounded in this dazzlingly laser-like and movingly original meditation on not so much motherhood or parenthood as pregnancy itself. Rankine slides from one form to another, and animates everyday domestic life with a grand sense of literary history and sensibility. It's as if this book is pregnant with her entire poetic project -- Lara Feigel
Plot is inexhaustibly complex, varied, and difficult-and as fearlessly and even grimly inventive and searching as one can conceive any book of poems as being. It instantly joins the few contemporary works ... whose gravity is synonymous with the passion and integrity of their intelligence -- Calvin Bedient * Verse *
To read her work is to be drawn deep into a thought's unfolding, into the eerie landscape of a dream; the dislocation one feels is tempered by the assurance of the writing, the deftness of Rankine's experiments with words and ideas * Indiana Review *
I am awestruck. Quite simply, I have never read anything like Plot. Its stupendous intelligence . . . marks it as a masterpiece -- Mary Gordon, author of PAYBACK
Plot moves as in a picaresque novel, in which the body schemes and frightens, accompanied by Claudia Rankine's instinct for poetic surprise -- Barbara Guest, author of THE RED GAZE
A fiercely gifted poet . . . She knows when to bless and to curse . . . [and] makes you hopeful for American poetry -- Robert Hass, author of SUMMER SNOW
A startling and eloquent exploration of states in, about, and around maternity . . . This is an unsettling poetry of the body wrestling itself in the making of thought -- Charles Bernstein
Spiraling around the story of "Liv" and "Erland" and their future child, "Ersatz," this book-length poem embeds its loose "plot" in the sensations and anxieties of birth and child-rearing . . . striking . . . This book seems consciously aimed at the nexus of several different feminist avant-garde projects, from the nouveau roman of Monique Wittig to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee * Publishers Weekly *
[Claudia Rankine's] books trace their own sort of movement . . . In Plot, the crisis sharpens, revolving around life and birth-the narrative center is a woman reluctant to give birth to a child who is already growing inside her . . . surprising -- David L. Ulin * Paris Review *
Dimensions: 197mm x 130mm x 8mm