Missives From the Green Campaign
New Chapbook Now out From Omnidawn
“Like a kind of environmental reworking of Matt Darby’s ‘The Sound Gun or Craig Padawer’s ‘The Meat Garden,’ Missives takes a military coming of age story and torques it into something absurd—and yet, it remains human and moving. It refuses to play realism’s game, but still offers more of realism’s payoff than most so-called realistic stories.”
—Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses
Short on fossil fuels and life-sustaining flora, a new military compels its soldiers to carry houseplants with them wherever they go. To allow a plant to die is treason and death. Hershel Boyd is by all accounts a poor soldier, an overeducated believer in a dying country’s freedom. When a fellow recruit convinces Hershel to choose a plant he didn’t intend, the two soldiers must redefine comradery, ecology, and friendship to survive a future where ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast.’
“Armstrong’s writing is full of quiet surprises. I immediately want to read it again to find out how the writer did that—which is the highest compliment I can pay any story.”
—AMBER SPARKS, author of The Unfinished World
and May We Shed These Human Bodies
“David Armstrong has that gift of saying so much with a perfectly pitched line of dialogue, a description of the night sky. Mostly I love Armstrong’s disconnected and beautifully unpredictable characters.”
—TOM BARBASH, author of Stay up With Me
Bodies beneath hotel mattresses, predatory corporations, a zoo celebrating its strange new arrival, and a desperate boy—the stories in Reiterations are told in pairs, each story one half of a new perspective on family, survival, love, and loss.
"Armstrong's stories use the magic of the short form done right at full potency. Each narrative ignites with a fiercely unique premise, then grows brighter still through unparalleled testimonies of life's most honest and painful truths. I finished this collection consumed with gratitude; every so often a book comes along that entirely renews your excitement for reading: this is one of them."
—Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa and Made for Love
"Gritty and constantly surprising, each story in Going Anywhere bears the deep resonance of a novel. David Armstrong peoples his worlds with wounded, volatile characters shoved to life’s periphery. Like Flannery O’Connor and Chris Offutt, he looks long where others would look away. A tremendous collection of marvelous stories."
—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
(Winner of The Story Prize)
and a New Anthology
“In this absorbing anthology, A. Marie Houser brings together a cohort of writers who, drawing on the powers of the sympathetic human imagination, lead us on a series of forays into the worlds inhabited by our animal cousins, near and not so near.”
Named after Nobel Prize and Man Booker International Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, the anthology honors, follows, and succeeds at the task Coetzee set forth in his prize-winning novels: to present a literature for and about “the animal.” From Gabriel Gudding to Melanie Rae Thon, sixteen remarkable writers contribute fiction, prose-poems, and a play to After Coetzee: An Anthology of Animal Fictions. Raccoons break out of a lab in the United States. A man in China finds himself caged as a tiger. And the speaker who delivers Gudding’s “encomium”—a poem that praises and laments—rails against animal agriculture.
The stories in Going Anywhere show a wild, unruly America of the mind. A father deals with the unexpected death of his daughter, a heroin-addicted mother kidnaps her son to teach him about beauty, and expectant parents wrestle with doubt. Connecting them all is the journey across a strange land both wondrous and unexpected—a public pool with miraculous properties, a church that requires its parishioners to carry the plasticized hands of corpses, a dog that exposes a man’s infidelity, and a worldwide epidemic of ghosts.