Literary Collection by Danielle Dutton
April 23, 2024 • 5 x 7.5 • 176 pages • 9781566897037
From the "strikingly smart and daringly feminist" (Jenny Offill) author of Margaret the First and SPRAWL comes a prose collection like no other, where different styles of writing and different spaces of experience create a collage of the depths and strangeness of contemporary life.
“Luminous” (The Guardian) and “brilliantly odd” (The Irish Independent), Danielle Dutton's writing is as protean as it is beguiling. In the four eponymous sections of Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other, Dutton imagines new models for how literature might work in our fractured times.
“Prairie” is a cycle of surreal stories set in the quickly disappearing prairieland of the American Midwest. “Dresses" offers a surprisingly moving portrait of literary fashions. “Art” turns to essay, examining how works of visual art and fiction might relate to one another, a question central to the book, while the final section, “Other,” includes pieces of irregular (“other”) forms, stories-as-essays or essays-as-stories that defy category and are hilarious or heartbreaking by turns.
Out of these varied materials, Dutton builds a haunting landscape of wildflowers, megadams, black holes, violence, fear, virtual reality, abiding strangeness, and indefinable beauty.
About the Author
Danielle Dutton’s previous books are Margaret the First, SPRAWL, and Attempts at a Life. Her writing has appeared in magazines and journals including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Paris Review, BOMB, The White Review, and NOON. Dutton teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis and is the cofounder and editor of Dorothy, a publishing project. Born and raised in California, she has lived on the (former) prairie for nearly twenty years.
Praise for Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other
“Pieces included in Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other are not short stories or essays in the strict (and limited) sense, but spells, incantatory hallucinations, organically shared phantasmagoria, bodily immersions in materials worldly and other-wordly. It is a book and yet it is definitely way more: a field of irruptions. This is Dutton at her best yet.” —Cristina Rivera Garza
“I know it sounds absurd, but I am fairly certain that some undiscovered, hallucinogenic essence is working through Danielle Dutton’s surreal and disorienting prose because the prairie I thought I knew is not, I now realize, the prairie I know at all. ¡Carajo! Whatever chaos or existential doubt is unearthed by these uncanny and highly stylized contemporary parables deserves to be played out. This book is so wild—I’m obsessed.” —Lara Mimosa Montes
“ Danielle Dutton is a writer whose work I wait for. When a new book comes, I keep it very close, marveling at how her writing combines such extraordinary acts of precision, drawing forth strangeness and new presentations of beauty, with her own singular and searching, expansive style of intelligence. Her growing body of work is among the most formally inventive (and therefore essential) I can think of, and Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other is a vital, enlivening addition to it." —Kate Briggs
“This surreal, (in)sightful collection of essays and stories is riotous and sublime, a love letter to making art.” —Mairead Small Staid
Praise for Margaret the First
Literary Hub Best Book of 2016
IPPY Gold Medal for Historical Fiction, 2017
“Dutton’s remarkable second novel is as vividly imaginative as its subject, the seventeenth century English writer and eccentric Margaret Cavendish . . . . Reminiscent of Woolf’s Orlando in its sensuous appreciation of the world and unconventional approach to fictionalized biography. Dutton’s boldness, striking prose, and skill at developing an idiosyncratic narrative should introduce her to the wider audience she deserves.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Ms. Dutton’s style is tightly poetic.” —John Williams, The New York Times
“A strikingly smart and daringly feminist novel with modern insights into love, marriage, and the siren call of ambition.” —Jenny Offill