In The Beforeland, a boy’s desperate act of rebellion against his grandmother reverberates outward, causing rifts and reckonings in the lives of others: a man fleeing his own troubled family who becomes the grandson’s unwitting accomplice; a poet struggling with the limitations of language and his wife’s distance; the proprietor of a dying motel; and the grandmother herself, who finds love for the first time as she recuperates from her injury. Set in the Mojave Desert and the suburbs of Southern California, this revelatory novel moves swiftly among characters caught between the deprivations of the past and the mysteries of the future. With unflinching precision and stunning prose, Vallianatos unearths the vulnerability and volatility at our cores.
152 pp., 5 1/4 x 8 1/4
ISBN 978-1-946724-38-0 (pbk)
ISBN 978-1-946724-39-7 (ebook)
PRAISE FOR THE BEFORELAND
“A wonderful, strange, violent, funny, wise book. Make some space on your bookshelf next to your Joy Williams, and your Lucia Berlin. That’s rarefied literary territory, and as The Beforeland shows, Vallianatos belongs there.” —Brock Clarke, author of Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?
“The Beforeland’s effect is to contuse the seemingly firm surfaces of American life and reveal their soft tissue. Vallianatos gives us one of those rare reading experiences where we ready and brace ourselves only to be unexpectedly unnerved.” —Salvador Plascencia, author of The People of Paper
“A miraculous novel of disparate characters who, despite shifts in time and place, belong to the same impossible landscape. There is as much meaning in the space between these narratives as there is within them.” —Jessica Anthony, author of Enter the Aardvark