The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far

Stories by Quintan Ana Wikswo

June 9, 2015 • 6 x 9 • 277 Pages • 978-1-56689-405-0

In these stories, characters defy the limits of physics to escape the all too human pain of love and loss.

When love, lust, and longing have all but killed you, and Newtonian physics has become too painfully restrictive, is it possible to find freedom in another dimension? Have you lost the will to live, or have you lost the will to live as human? In these stories, characters must learn to live with unmarked edges and meanings that can no longer be defined.

About the Author

Quintan Ana Wikswo’s work appears regularly in Tin House, Guernica, Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Denver Quarterly, among other publications. She has received residencies and fellowships in literature, visual art, film, and performance at Yaddo, Djerassi, Creative Capital, Center for Cultural Innovation, Pollock Krasner Foundation, and the NEA. In 2013, the Berlin Jewish Museum presented a five-month solo exhibition of her project Sonderbauten, which explores state-sponsored sexual violence against women through photographs, poetry installation, and film. A former human rights worker, she is now the co-Director of Contos & Wikswo, an arts organization creating artworks in literature, visual art, performance, and ritual in communities with complex ecologies of memory, history, mystery, and mythos.

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.


“Each of the 10 stories in the collection feels crafted into a distinctive object and thoughtfully presented, practically hung on a wall for the audience’s contemplation. This makes for an unconventional reading experience that is as visual as it is verbal. . . . In Wikswo’s book, the text and paratext are equally deliberate and interesting, and are, as befits a cross-genre artist, difficult to separate.” Chicago Tribune

“Wikswo’s singular lines strike like the tone of a bell, resonating across pages. . . . The stories . . . take the reader on a journey where myth, mystery, and the impossible have never seemed more real.” Publishers Weekly

“In this mysterious work, Wikswo has found a new way to dramatize historical horrors and ambiguities.” Star Tribune

“There’s a mesmerizing sense of timespace travel in these stories, which seem to simultaneously inhabit ancient mythological eras and the present day.” Literary Hub

The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far balances intimate stories with surreal photographs, an otherworldly kind of pleasure.” Kenyon Review

“Desire bends the world with transmogrifying persistence in Wikswo’s debut collection, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, until the reality we thought we knew erodes into the background of a whorling landscape rife with longing. The tragedy of embodiment, of our inherent separation from one another, permeates a text whose protagonists strive to rewrite the rules of creation, that it might contain a space where they can love. It is no wonder, then, that the text obliterates boundaries of form, structure, genre, and medium like a typhoon.” —The Rumpus

“Across the pages of The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, writer-photographer Quintan Ana Wikswo accomplishes places of uncommon depth via an elixir of language, photography, and negative space.” Los Angeles Review

“An intoxicating read that feels at once universal and personal, comforting and jarring, ethereal and earthy.” Electric Literature

“[The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far] blends stark prose and shifting imagery with images that sometimes accentuate the words on the page and sometimes bring moments into sharp (pardon the pun) focus. It’s unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year.” Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Each story relies on a delicate juxtaposition of image and text. It supports the manner in which we process white space, as a sort of separate, ‘meta’ narrative. Paragraphs seem unnecessary here, as if each sentence is a shaman holy enough to regard the stanza as a pair of shackles, or a superfluous control mechanism.” Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“What would ordinarily be conjured in the reader’s imagination, is readily provided in full color to create an additional layer of metaphor and meaning against the text.” —Drunken Boat

“For a society recently focused on how rigidly we should adhere to the identities that are supposed to define us, Quintan Ana Wikswo’s new book of photography and stories comes as a spiritual guide.” Creative Capital

“Although the foundation of the book is her sparkling prose, the accompanying visual art is just as integral to the story, itself a meditation on the discomfort of ‘painfully restrictive Newtonian physics’ and the quest to escape the torments of human desire by finding solace in a parallel universe.” LA Weekly

“A multi-sensory reading experience. You don’t just read the stories; you engage with them. . . . It is through Wikswo’s poetic language and movement that we can recognize, live, and exist in our own ecology of complexity.” Electric Literature

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s debut book, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us this Far, occupies territory the way only the bravest literary works do: the characters and places within shirk boundaries and create new ones, exist both inside and outside the world as we know it, and redefine love and existence in an unexpected and wildly queer way.” Lambda Literary

“Like shortwave radio dispatches from another Universe where the edges that separate us are constantly blurring and shifting.” Lambda Literary

“An evocative new short story collection.” Lambda Literary

The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is the acclaimed new book of words and images by Quintan Ana Wikswo, an artist and writer who has never limited herself to only one medium and certainly not to two dimensions.” LA Weekly

“Quintan Ana Wikswo’s short story collection The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far boldly combines prose and photography to create a unique, mesmerizing, and unforgettable reading experience.” Largehearted Boy

“Experimental fiction and photography by former human rights worker, which I was surprised to fall in love with.” Critical Mass

“When Brooklyn-based author, visual artist, photographer and filmmaker Quintan Ana Wikswo celebrates the release of her new book The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, you can be sure that the former human rights activist won’t settle for a simple reading and Q&A.” Bedford + Bowery

“War and love, family and beloveds, reality and fantasy are her themes, but they are unlike the stories of these subjects you may have read before. A kind of alchemy is at work here within Wikswo’s sensual writing. Writing that comes close to being felt bodily and brightly heard. . . . The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is a magnificent work.” Review 31

“Wikswo is equally deft with words and photographs. . . . Wikswo’s desire to reintroduce the reader to an intense level of natural vitality . . . is not so much an attempt to erase the modern but to restore something ancient and eternal to its rightful place.” Vertigo

“What is written here moves somewhere between a personal letter and a myth digested by generations. The stories are site-specific, witchy, and precise.” The Diagram

“Dedicated to those inhabiting the meeting point of nihilism and romance, Wikswo’s tales palpate the tiny, tender parts of us that dare to hope for love and belonging in the face of a cold and unkind universe. . . . Blurring the edges of reality and challenging the body’s limits, Wikswo offers a glimpse of what could transpire if our deepest desires devoured us.” Bookslut

“The stories breathe with peripheral intensity. . . . There is a rhythm to this movement, a music, a life. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far may change the way you view the book as object, the story as word.” Warscapes

“[The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far explores] humanity from the outside, not just crossing genres but exploding them. Quintan combines text and photography to give us characters who have left their bodies, and whose stories have become boundless. She writes with both a lightness and the weight of lives unlived, of remorse, and of loss.” 0s&1s

“These stunning, solitary and cinematic letters to the self (think of the Quays and Béla Tarr speaking together in dreamtime) bear witness to a world beloved and betrayed, the spent and brutal collisions of irretrievable loss with what might have been possible.” —Rikki Ducornet

“Quintan Ana Wikswo, in her unique and magnificent The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, has ignited an extraordinary condensation of texts and images that culls together spirit, compassion, and dreams. Throughout her foray into extensions of the mind and the limits of the body she exudes an uncanny power of magic and wizardry.” —Lynn Hershman Leeson, Director of Women Art Revolution

“You will find within these pages a marvelous alchemy of image and text, all of it radiant, sensual, endlessly layered. The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far is at once a seduction and an insurrection: a paean to lovers, explorers, resisters, and those without borders.” —National Book Award finalist Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of Madeleine is Sleeping