Boneyard (Paperback)

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In this unusual collaborative novel, Jake Yoder, a precocious boy caught between Amish culture and the modern world, sits in his middle-school classroom writing stories at the behest of a stern but charismatic teacher. Jake's stories feature children who are crushed, imprisoned, and distorted, and yet somehow flailing around with a kind of bedazzled awe, trying to find a way out. His characters wander through Amish farms, one-room schoolhouses, South American plains, mental institutions, exotic cities, and prisons; his sentences seem constructed to the beat of an obsessive internal rhythm, and his prose is often haunting and beautiful. The strange logic and disturbing shifts in Jake's tales reveal a young boy processing intense emotional experiences in the wake of his mother's suicide and his own proximity to the schoolroom shootings at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Jake imagines fantastic journeys, magical transformations, and rock stardom as alternatives, it seems, to his own grim reality and the limitations of his life among the Amish.

Praise For…

Advance praise for BONEYARD

In this sly, endlessly surprising collaboration with a troubled Amish persona and his skeptical (self?)-editor, Beachy exalts and simultaneously deconstructs the tradition of the literary hoax. The result is mythic, manic, and amazing. Michael Lowenthal

Intelligent cultural critique wrapped in a twisty, turny, funny, damning fairy tale that happened neither long ago nor far away but every day and here.”Rebecca Brown

boneyard is a restless dream of a book, one that lifts away from the dreaming writer only to turn and look back at him, regard him, and make his dream its subject.”Matthew Stadler

Stephen Beachy is a complete visionary, a sorcerer, a secret weapon. boneyard does for the Amish diaspora what Junot Diaz did for ­Dominicans with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”Scott Heim

From reviews of THE WHISTLING SONG

An admirable, highly original tale . . . [by] an exuberant and nervy writer who is in awe of the open road and all of its beauty, irony, and menace (Meg Wolitzer, New York Times Book Review)

From reviews of DISTORTION

"Beachy's triumph of prose, hypnotic and lyrical, bathes his characters in the revealing light of a photographer's eye . . . An artistic and literary achievement." (Jay Quinn)


"Bold, addictive, and hauntingly beautiful, Stephen Beachy continues his dissection of the American landscape and character through these two finely crafted and thematically linked novellas charged with memory, mystery, desire, violence, and the destiny deprived itinerants who lived and imagined them." (R. Zamora Linmark)

"This is some of the most interesting and exciting writing I've read in a long time. Not so much a great book as a great reading experience. You forget how you got there, which is the best. Writer to writer I thank Stephen Beachy. This is how we live." (Eileen Myles)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781891241338
ISBN-10: 1891241338
Publisher: Verse Chorus Press
Publication Date: October 11th, 2011
Pages: 303
Language: English