Join us on Friday, August 25 at 7pm PT when Jenn Shapland joins us to celebrate the release of her essay collection, Thin Skin, with Isaac Fellman at 9th Ave!
Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online at the link below
Praise for Thin Skin
“A visceral exploration of the thin membrane between the self, the body, and the systems that control them.”—Katherine May, author of Wintering
“In her introduction, Shapland refers to the ability of the essay to do anything or go anywhere as a part of her love for the form—and in the essays that follow, she shows us she meant it. A wrenching, loving and trenchant examination of feminism, nuclear weapons production, healthcare, queerness and American life unlike any I can think of, in essays that give lessons in pushing this form to the limit. The resulting collection is iconoclastic, electric, illuminating, and the honesty and art in these essays bring with them a series of welcome awakenings. A book to keep for a long time.”—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“Jenn Shapland's mind is a marvel. In Thin Skin, she puts it to work on our permeability to one another, and the result is a stunning, urgent, and layered consideration of our climate-catastrophe, pandemic-laden day. As each essay considers vulnerability in a different form, Shapland proves herself a brilliant and compassionate guide through loss and the enduring need to find hope. She offers no easy answers, but something far more valuable: deeper, more acute understanding—the best kind of balm.”—Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body
About Thin Skin
Examining capitalism’s toxic creep into the land, our bodies, and our thinking, this incisive new work is “a visceral exploration” (Katherine May, author of Wintering) from a National Book Award finalist and a powerful literary mind.
For Jenn Shapland, the barrier between herself and the world is porous; she was even diagnosed with extreme dermatologic sensitivity—thin skin.
Recognizing how deeply vulnerable we all are to our surroundings, she becomes aware of the impacts our tiniest choices have on people, places, and species far away. She can't stop seeing the ways we are enmeshed and entangled with everyone else on the planet. Despite our attempts to cordon ourselves off from risk, our boundaries are permeable.
Weaving together historical research, interviews, and her everyday life in New Mexico, Shapland probes the lines between self and work, human and animal, need and desire. She traces the legacies of nuclear weapons development on Native land, unable to let go of her search for contamination until it bleeds out into her own family’s medical history. She questions the toxic myth of white womanhood and the fear of traveling alone that she’s been made to feel since girlhood. And she explores her desire to build a creative life as a queer woman, asking whether such a thing as a meaningful life is possible under capitalism.
Ceaselessly curious, uncompromisingly intelligent, and urgently seeking, with Thin Skin Shapland builds thrillingly on her genre-defying debut My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (“Gorgeous, symphonic, tender, and brilliant” —Carmen Machado), firmly establishing herself as one of the sharpest essayists of her generation.
About Jenn Shapland
Jenn Shapland’s first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Lambda Literary Award and the Publishing Triangle Award, among other honors, and has been translated into Spanish, French, and Polish. Shapland has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin and she works as an archivist for a visual artist.
About Issac Fellman
Isaac Fellman is the author of Dead Collections, out on February 22, 2022 from Penguin Books. His novella The Two Doctors Górski is also forthcoming from tordotcom. Isaac is named for a Loud Family song, and for the concept of laughter. In daily life, Isaac is an archivist.
A GOODREADS MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • Examining capitalism’s toxic creep into the land, our bodies, and our thinking, this incisive new work is “a visceral exploration” (Katherine May, author of Wintering) from a National Book Award finalist and a powerful literary mind.
Winner of the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award, and a Lambda Literary Award
Finalist for the National Book Award
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
A whirlwind romance between an eccentric archivist and a grieving widow explores what it means to be at home in your own body in this clever, humorous, and heartfelt novel.
"Dark academia at its most oppressive and intense."—The New York Times
A Most Anticipated Pick for Buzzfeed
The Two Doctors Górski is a dazzling contemporary fantasy and an exploration of reclaiming personal power in the aftermath of abuse by Lambda Award-winning author Isaac Fellman.