Reconstructions

I finally understand that my third novel is circular.  It’s an exploration of memory, and all the errors, and reconstructions such an exploration requires:  photographs, music, story, place, the pieces we use to build the incident over again.  And how reliable is our building, our storytelling?  I guess that depends, doesn’t it?

When I was a kid, the myths frustrated me.  This way in one version, that way in another.  Sometimes the hero changed, sometimes the trials, sometimes the punishments.  Now I understand how powerful the possibilities of another ending, a different outcome, an updated version.  The flux of the every-changing past.  The historical perspective maintains that the past will go on repeating itself.  Land wars over Alsace-Lorraine for centuries.  The story suggests all is relative.  The fallacy of the eyewitness.  The make believe of the writer.  The ambiguity of villainy and heroism.

I’ve been thinking about a poem by Olena Kalytiak Davis, from one of my favorite books: And Her Soul out of Nothing.

In Defense of Marriage

Marry the black horse stuck

Dumb in her humble corral.

Marry the white fences; marry the fenceless

Moon and the defenceless sky.

Marry the feedlot and the threshing

Floor.  Like the northern heaven to the southern

Stars, marry the kitchen table, its three strong

Legs.  Marry the gate and the small intricate

Cuts on the key and the view spreading

Outback.  The streetlamp

Weds the morning light, like that, take the

Nomad.  Promise to forsake.  Give in

To the cistern full of asters.

To the way the beloved

Story goes:  her body from a bone.

And her soul out of nothing.

In a slowly spoiling month find out

You have married the house worn

Blue on the yellowing hill: each of its

Slow budding bedrooms.  Marry one or two

Or three varieties of light, in three or four

Different lifetimes. I meant, windows.

Mate, be forsaken.

I married the way moths marry.

I married hard.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jill Malone

Jill Malone grew up in a military family, went to German kindergarten, and lived across from a bakery that made gummi bears the size of mice. She has lived on the East Coast and in Hawaii, and for the last seventeen years in Spokane with her son, two dogs, a hedgehog, and a lot of outdoor gear. She looks for any excuse to play guitar. Jill is married to a performance artist and addiction counselor who makes the best risotto on the planet.

Giraffe People is her third novel. Her first novel, Red Audrey and the Roping, was a Lambda finalist and won the third annual Bywater Prize for Fiction. A Field Guide to Deception, her second novel, was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley, and won the Lambda Literary Award and the Great Northwest Book Festival.

Giraffe People

Giraffe People

Between God and the army, fifteen-year-old Cole Peters has more than enough to rebel against. But this Chaplain’s daughter isn’t resorting to drugs or craziness. Truth to tell, she’s content with her soccer team and her band and her white bread boyfriend.

And then, of course, there’s Meghan.

Meghan is eighteen years old and preparing for entry into West Point. For this she has sponsors: Cole’s parents. They’re delighted their daughter is finally looking up to someone. Someone who can tutor her and be a friend.

But one night that relationship changes and Cole’s world flips.

Giraffe People is a potent reminder of the rites of passage and passion that we all endure on our road to growing up and growing strong. Award-winning author Jill Malone tells a story of coming out and coming of age, giving us a take that is both subtle and fresh.

More info →
Buy from GoodReads
Buy from Powells
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle
A Field Guide to Deception

A Field Guide to Deception

In Jill Malone’s second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, nothing is as simple as it appears: community, notions of motherhood, the nature of goodness, nor even compelling love. Revelations are punctured and then revisited with deeper insight, alliances shift, and heroes turn anti-hero—and vice versa.

With her aunt’s death Claire Bernard loses her best companion, her livelihood, and her son’s co-parent. Malone’s smart, intriguing writing beguiles the reader into this taut, compelling story of a makeshift family and the reawakening of a past they’d hoped to outrun. Claire’s journey is the unifying tension in this book of layered and shifting alliances.

A Field Guide to Deception is a serious novel filled with snappy dialogue, quick-moving and funny incidents, compelling characterizations, mysterious plot twists, and an unexpected climax. It is a rich, complex tale for literary readers.

More info →
Buy from GoodReads
Buy from Powells
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Red Audrey and the Roping

Red Audrey and the Roping

Occasionally a debut novel comes along that rocks its readers back on their heels. Red Audrey and the Roping is one of that rare and remarkable breed. With storytelling as accomplished as successful literary novelists like Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters, Jill Malone takes us on a journey through the heart of Latin professor Jane Elliot.

Set against the dramatic landscapes and seascapes of Hawaii, this is the deeply moving story of a young woman traumatized by her mother’s death. Scarred by guilt, she struggles to find the nerve to let love into her life again. Afraid to love herself or anyone else, Jane falls in love with risk, pitting herself against the world with dogged, destructive courage. But finally she reaches a point where there is only one danger left worth facing. The sole remaining question for Jane is whether she is willing to accept her history, embrace her damage, and take a chance on love.

As well as a gripping and emotional story, Red Audrey and the Roping is a remarkable literary achievement. The breathtaking prose evokes setting, characters, and relationships with equal grace. The dialogue sparks and sparkles. Splintered fragments of narrative come together to form a seamless suspenseful story that flows effortlessly to its dramatic conclusion.

Winner of the Bywater Prize for Fiction, Red Audrey and the Roping is one of the most memorable first novels you will ever read.

More info →
Buy from GoodReads
Buy from Powells
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle