Ventriloquisms – by Jaclyn Watterson
by Jaclyn Watterson. Secretion. Excretion. Severed limbs, lost animals, and porcelain teeth. In these twenty-four radical works of female (dis)embodiment and creation – cries from the dark filtered through the fitful voices of a ventriloquist’s doll – Watterson invites readers to explore a defamiliarized world that is only as horrifying as our own.
One of the great joys of being an avid reader of fiction is coming across a writer who makes you question the ways you have read stories in the past. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s like discovering a sixth sense, a new way of bearing witness and processing the world. Such was the surprise and delight I felt reading Ventriloquisms. -Alexis M. Smith, Marrow Island, Judge of the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction
Like mixtures concocted by an evil side of Radclyffe Hall and a Grimm brother gone quietly rogue… Jaclyn Watterson’s precise, finely-frameworked fictions are serious, hilarious, and highly recommended. -Stacey Levine, The Girl with Brown Fur
Watterson is completely unafraid of the visceral, of decay, of violation, of transgressive laughter and of the profane, and with her mastery of diction and seemingly unlimited register, she makes all of those things weirdly sing. -Tim Parrish, The Jumper
Harrowing, subversive, and gorgeously provocative, Jaclyn Watterson’s brilliant flashes of fiction interrogate what it means to have a self, a soul, a life, a body… -Melanie Rae Thon, Silence and Song
In Watterson’s hands, simple declarative sentences acquire multiple layers of associations: beautiful, broken symmetries that make Ventriloquisms a unique and haunting debut. -Tracy Daughtery, Hiding Man
There’s a beautiful, electrifying weirdness running through Jaclyn Watterson’s Ventriloquisms, arising from a glorious, scorching language you just want to soak in. -Sam Ligon, Among the Dead and Dreaming
This Macabre and stylistically daring debut showcases Watterson as a tru literary ventriloquist, throwing emotional resonance, memory, and sisterhood at all costs into every line. -Sequoia Nagamatsu, Where We Go When All We Were is Gone
Ventriloquisms is a winner of the Spokane Prize in fiction. It can be purchased here.