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JANET SARBANES discusses her short story collection THE PROTESTER HAS BEEN RELEASED, with MAGGIE NELSON

The Protester Has Been Released (C&R Press)

Populated by wise animals and hapless humans, Protester brilliantly evokes an end-of-the-world feeling that is equal parts dread and hilarity. In nine precisely rendered stories and a novella featuring the American president’s daughter, Sarbanes takes on the big questions with gallows humor: What is freedom? What is love? What is art? And what does it matter now?

In “Meet Koko,” the famous signing gorilla spends her nights secretly typing a hilarious “counter-narrative” onto her researcher’s laptop. “The First Daughter Finds Her Way” chronicles the quest of a president’s daughter to keep her father from invading the world’s nations in reverse alphabetical order. Sibling rivalry turns lethal in “Who Will Sit with Maman?” And in “Ars Longa,” a Colorado town riddled with cancer turns to art making in order to cope with the chaos of the present and the sins of the past.

Whether chiseled into discretely titled chunks, or rendered via extended interior monologues, Sarbanes’ witty, affective prose deftly locates the promise of a new society within the shell of the old. A fierce, funny primer for our time.

Praise for The Protester Has Been Released

The Protester Has Been Released is a spectacular and subversive collection, made even more so by its deceptive calm and supremely wry style.”--Maggie Nelson

“Exploring the subtle and not-so-subtle disjunctions between the so-called animal and the so-called human world, between police and citizens, between the resident and its electorate, between rich and poor, and between humans and the world, The Protester Has Been Released is a funny, humane, and scalpel-sharp collection. Only after you finish do you realize how close these worlds are to our own, and how implicated you are.”--Brian Evenson

“This is a profound book and necessary to the times we are living in now. Sarbanes explores the boundaries between ourselves and animals and Americans and the wider world in ways that illuminate the true issues behind the false ones. We need this book now.”--Danzy Senna

“The Protester Has Been Released gives yet more proof that Janet Sarbanes is a comic genius. She’s also some other kind of genius: these stories and novella range over broad territory, but in every case, Sarbanes is artful, precise, and prescient. Unfortunately, her apocalypse is ours, too. But as the end approaches, she’s terrific company.”--Rachel Kushner

Janet Sarbanes is the author of the short story collection Army of One, hailed by Bomb as a “stingingly funny fiction debut.” Her new collection, The Protester Has Been Released, will be published by C & R Press in February 2017. Recent short fiction appears in Black ClockP-QueueEntropy and North Dakota Quarterly. Sarbanes has also published art criticism and other critical writing in museum catalogues, anthologies, and journals such as East of BorneoAfterallJournal of Utopian Studies and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at CalArts.

Maggie Nelson ​is ​the author of nine books of poetry and prose​, many of which have become cult classics which defy classification​. Her nonfiction titles include the National Book Critics Circle Award winner and New York Timesbestseller The Argonauts (2015), The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2011; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Bluets (2009; named by Bookforum as one of the top 10 best books of the past 20 years), The Red Parts​: Autobiography of a Trial​ (​​2007,​ reissued ​in​ 2016), and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (2007). Her poetry titles include Something Bright, Then Holes (2007) and Jane: A Murder (2005; finalist for the PEN/ Martha Albrand Art of the Memoir). She has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, an NEA in Poetry, an Innovative Literature Fellowship from Creative Capital, and an Arts Writers Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and has taught literature, writing, art, criticism and theory at the New School, Pratt Institute, Wesleyan ​University, and CalArts. In 2016 she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles.​

Event date: 
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Protester Has Been Released Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781936196654
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Published: C&r Press - February 1st, 2017

Army of One Cover Image
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Jane: A Murder Cover Image
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 11th, 2011

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Something Bright, Then Holes Cover Image
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Published: Soft Skull Press - October 1st, 2007