Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love

A novel by Anna Moschovakis

August 14, 2018 • 5.5 x 8.25 • 224 pages • 978-1-56689-508-8

Close friends / distant lovers / catcallers / a thief with a story / idealistic communards / a question: How to live in this world?

A novel about a woman writing a novel about a woman who writes—Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love is a sexy, earthy, bracingly intelligent examination of the vicissitudes of grief, ambition, aging, information overload, compassion fatigue, and a data-centric understanding of self; the relative merits of giving up or giving in; the seductive myth of progress; and the condition of being a thinking and feeling (gendered, raced) inhabitant of an unthinkable, numbing world.

About the Author

Anna Moschovakis is a writer, translator, and editor with an interest in crossing modes of poetry, narrative, philosophy, and documentary prose. She’s the author of three books, including You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House 2011, winner of the James Laughlin Award) and They and We Will Get into Trouble for This (Coffee House 2016), and more than a dozen chapbooks. She is a longtime member of the Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, and she recently co-founded Bushel, a collectively run art and community space in Delhi, NY, near where she primarily lives.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Anna Moschovakis takes the reader straight to the terrifying edge: that moment where one ages out of youthfulness and begins to flutter in the debris of middle living, flattened out by technology, wild-goose chasing one’s data. Yet, the deeper we look into Eleanor’s unsettledness, the more we see and the more hope we find in her rhizomic wandering. This is a beautiful slow burn of a novel.” —Renee Gladman

Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love is brilliant, inventive, funny, and full of sharp, keen insights. Anna Moschovakis is one of the most invigorating invigilators of our current moment, in all of its complexity and vexatious paradox. To paraphrase its protagonist, this book is a performance that is quality life—try now!” —James Hannaham

“Moschovakis has outdone herself with Eleanor; it reveals all the emptiness behind our collective aspirations and makes me want to slow down and speed up all at once, empty and fill myself, perform and be true. It exists in a place of contradictions, just like we all do, and it feels like there’s no better literary mirror into which we should all gaze right now.” —Nylon

Praise for Anna Moschovakis:

“Deeply engaging. . . . Moschovakis sets philosophy, etymology, and memory in motion to show that ‘There are many ways to follow a thought.’” Publishers Weekly

“Anna Moschovakis is a great abstract poet in the sense that she explores how formal procedures and found vocabularies and grammatical structures delimit what we can express at a given historical moment. But what makes her an indispensable writer is how she is able—and through her we are able—to experience questions of logical and linguistic relation as intensely lived, as sites not only of critical reflection, but of love. This book completes what I consider an essential poetic trilogy. It has expanded my sense of how I, you, they, we might address one another in the present tense of art.” —Ben Lerner

They and We Will Get into Trouble for This may have its lineage in various traditions, but if we call it avant-garde or experimental, it is to say that it provides new ways of looking at what poetry can do at this very moment, broadening our perception of what was always possible. In that sense, it is a rich and momentous book, which should establish Anna Moschovakis as one of the most important poets writing today.” Kenyon Review

“I enjoy and appreciate her philosophically bent poetry, her austere use of language, and the sense of violence that charges her poems.” San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Perhaps what is needed now is what this book supplies: beautiful and fraught complexity. . . . Philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, and other realms of theory are woven throughout the book, which never creates an academic distance, but builds a path toward intimacy.” Boston Review

“It feels smart, unsettled—at times evasive, and at others so straightforward that it hurts.” American Poet