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Betwixt-And-Between
By

Rating
Lyric essays on writing, moving among digression, reflection, imagination, and experience as a lover might, bringing art into the world.
Product Details

About the Author

Jenny Boully is the author of The Body: An Essay, The Book of Beginnings and Endings: Essays, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, and other books. Born in Thailand, she grew up in Texas and holds a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She teaches creative writing and literature at Columbia College Chicago.

Reviews

Praise for Jenny Boully: "Boully's thought process, as seen on the page, is a pure pleasure to behold, she's full of delight and her words offer sensations beyond what mere words usually do." --Nylon "[Boully's] prose is reminiscent of Lydia Davis'--spare, elliptical, unexpected--and sometimes, in her rhythmic cadences, of Gertrude Stein's... Graceful meditations on love, loneliness, and the magic of words." --Kirkus "Fellow practitioners of literary nonfiction will find Boully's writing relatable and charming." --Publisher's Weekly "I cherish my fevers because they begin to break down the edges of the self I've so meticulously constructed in my waking life. Jenny Boully's sentences have a similar effect on me. She comes by her slippages and seams honestly. One gets the sense that she has straddled the space between waking and dreaming, not writing and writing, her whole life, and has something real to tell you about the time she's spent in the in-between. You should follow her as far as you can go." --Ander Monson "In Betwixt-and-Between, Jenny Boully gathers disparate instances and encounters and weaves them into sumptuous lyric essays that--while deeply sensual--also reveal 'the inner working of things.' She inscribes the part of us between the world and the body, the space that receives the world, then turns it into a dream in order to more deeply understand it. In this new collection, Jenny Boully evokes knowledge's ephemeral core, how it looks in the air or as a meadow, her brilliance inflected with lyric witchery." --Carmen Gim�nez Smith "Anybody can have a thought--they cost nothing, on the internet--but to capture the drama of someone thinking on the page is a rare and difficult thing. That's where the action of an essay is, and the intimacy too, and in Jenny Boully's latest collection we draw so near the mind of the maker we seem to fall down through ourselves, into a new and wholly strange concentration. Betwixt-and-Between leaves behind an accurate record of the trouble Boully encounters in her search for the simplest way to say complex things about sincerity and beauty and love and happiness--and yes, all those shy hopes are here, all caught on the sly, in this wonder of a book." --Charles D'Ambrosio "Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch." --John D'Agata "Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without 'complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.' Jenny Boully has done it." --Mary Jo Bang "Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer--in the best way." --Ander Monson "Boully seduces [her reader] by drawing unexpected but felicitous linkages between disparate citations from the history of literature. . . . Filled with the exegetical projection of our own imagination." --Christian B�k "In Boully's writing, there are no beginnings or endings; instead, we are presented with impressions, threads, and flashes of narrative. Within the space of these short paragraphs, we are compelled to narrate our own ideas about the pleasures and failures of love. . . . There are many questions in this work that are left unanswered, as well as many silences surrounding what happened 'in the end.' Yes, there is much talk about beginnings, but we are never truly situated 'in the beginning.' Instead, we remain in the continual becoming of love and loss, memory and perception, narrative and poetry. We stay, as the various characters and the speaker herself, 'within unnameable endless flowerings.'" --Craig Santos Perez "Boully's thought process, as seen on the page, is a pure pleasure to behold, she's full of delight and her words offer sensations beyond what mere words usually do." --Nylon "[Boully's] prose is reminiscent of Lydia Davis'--spare, elliptical, unexpected--and sometimes, in her rhythmic cadences, of Gertrude Stein's... Graceful meditations on love, loneliness, and the magic of words." --Kirkus "I cherish my fevers because they begin to break down the edges of the self I've so meticulously constructed in my waking life. Jenny Boully's sentences have a similar effect on me. She comes by her slippages and seams honestly. One gets the sense that she has straddled the space between waking and dreaming, not writing and writing, her whole life, and has something real to tell you about the time she's spent in the in-between. You should follow her as far as you can go." --Ander Monson "In Betwixt-and-Between, Jenny Boully gathers disparate instances and encounters and weaves them into sumptuous lyric essays that--while deeply sensual--also reveal 'the inner working of things.' She inscribes the part of us between the world and the body, the space that receives the world, then turns it into a dream in order to more deeply understand it. In this new collection, Jenny Boully evokes knowledge's ephemeral core, how it looks in the air or as a meadow, her brilliance inflected with lyric witchery." --Carmen Gimenez Smith "Anybody can have a thought--they cost nothing, on the internet--but to capture the drama of someone thinking on the page is a rare and difficult thing. That's where the action of an essay is, and the intimacy too, and in Jenny Boully's latest collection we draw so near the mind of the maker we seem to fall down through ourselves, into a new and wholly strange concentration. Betwixt-and-Between leaves behind an accurate record of the trouble Boully encounters in her search for the simplest way to say complex things about sincerity and beauty and love and happiness--and yes, all those shy hopes are here, all caught on the sly, in this wonder of a book." --Charles D'Ambrosio Praise for Jenny Boully: "Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch." --John D'Agata "Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without 'complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.' Jenny Boully has done it." --Mary Jo Bang "Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer--in the best way." --Ander Monson "Boully seduces [her reader] by drawing unexpected but felicitous linkages between disparate citations from the history of literature. . . . Filled with the exegetical projection of our own imagination." --Christian Bok "In Boully's writing, there are no beginnings or endings; instead, we are presented with impressions, threads, and flashes of narrative. Within the space of these short paragraphs, we are compelled to narrate our own ideas about the pleasures and failures of love. . . . There are many questions in this work that are left unanswered, as well as many silences surrounding what happened 'in the end.' Yes, there is much talk about beginnings, but we are never truly situated 'in the beginning.' Instead, we remain in the continual becoming of love and loss, memory and perception, narrative and poetry. We stay, as the various characters and the speaker herself, 'within unnameable endless flowerings.'" --Craig Santos Perez "I cherish my fevers because they begin to break down the edges of the self I've so meticulously constructed in my waking life. Jenny Boully's sentences have a similar effect on me. She comes by her slippages and seams honestly. One gets the sense that she has straddled the space between waking and dreaming, not writing and writing, her whole life, and has something real to tell you about the time she's spent in the in-between. You should follow her as far as you can go." --Ander Monson "In Betwixt-and-Between, Jenny Boully gathers disparate instances and encounters and weaves them into sumptuous lyric essays that--while deeply sensual--also reveal 'the inner working of things.' She inscribes the part of us between the world and the body, the space that receives the world, then turns it into a dream in order to more deeply understand it. In this new collection, Jenny Boully evokes knowledge's ephemeral core, how it looks in the air or as a meadow, her brilliance inflected with lyric witchery." --Carmen Gimenez Smith "Anybody can have a thought--they cost nothing, on the internet--but to capture the drama of someone thinking on the page is a rare and difficult thing. That's where the action of an essay is, and the intimacy too, and in Jenny Boully's latest collection we draw so near the mind of the maker we seem to fall down through ourselves, into a new and wholly strange concentration. Betwixt-and-Between leaves behind an accurate record of the trouble Boully encounters in her search for the simplest way to say complex things about sincerity and beauty and love and happiness--and yes, all those shy hopes are here, all caught on the sly, in this wonder of a book." --Charles D'Ambrosio Praise for Jenny Boully: "Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch." --John D'Agata "Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without 'complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.' Jenny Boully has done it." --Mary Jo Bang "Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer--in the best way." --Ander Monson "Boully seduces [her reader] by drawing unexpected but felicitous linkages between disparate citations from the history of literature. . . . Filled with the exegetical projection of our own imagination." --Christian Bok "In Boully's writing, there are no beginnings or endings; instead, we are presented with impressions, threads, and flashes of narrative. Within the space of these short paragraphs, we are compelled to narrate our own ideas about the pleasures and failures of love. . . . There are many questions in this work that are left unanswered, as well as many silences surrounding what happened 'in the end.' Yes, there is much talk about beginnings, but we are never truly situated 'in the beginning.' Instead, we remain in the continual becoming of love and loss, memory and perception, narrative and poetry. We stay, as the various characters and the speaker herself, 'within unnameable endless flowerings.'" --Craig Santos Perez Praise for Jenny Boully: "Jenny is the future of nonfiction in America. What an absurdly arrogant statement to make. I make it anyway. Watch."--John D'Agata "Yes, Aristotle, there can be pleasure without 'complete and unified action with a beginning, middle, and end.' Jenny Boully has done it."--Mary Jo Bang "Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer--in the best way." --Ander Monson "Boully seduces [her reader] by drawing unexpected but felicitous linkages between disparate citations from the history of literature. . . . Filled with the exegetical projection of our own imagination." --Christian Bok "In Boully's writing, there are no beginnings or endings; instead, we are presented with impressions, threads, and flashes of narrative. Within the space of these short paragraphs, we are compelled to narrate our own ideas about the pleasures and failures of love. . . . There are many questions in this work that are left unanswered, as well as many silences surrounding what happened "in the end." Yes, there is much talk about beginnings, but we are never truly situated "in the beginning." Instead, we remain in the continual becoming of love and loss, memory and perception, narrative and poetry. We stay, as the various characters and the speaker herself," within unnameable endless flowerings." --Craig Santos Perez

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