Black Scat Books is proud to add D. Harlan Wilson to its list of luminaries. This is the renegade author’s first collection of plays, and it’s guaranteed to provoke standing ovations — or perhaps we should say “fistfights in the orchestra” as Jarry’s Ubu Roi did so long, long ago.
Over the last two decades, D. Harlan Wilson has established himself as a writer of avant-garde fiction that has been called many names, ranging from speculative, literary and postmodern to irreal, bizarro, absurdist and “splatter-schtick.” Some say he defies categorization and is a genre unto himself. In THREE PLAYS, Wilson subverts traditional forms of stagecraft, unmans the helm of narrative, and exposes the nightmares that distinguish everyday life in urban and suburban America. Channeling Samuel Beckett and Jon Fosse in one scene, Russell Edson and Alfred Jarry in the next, he subjects actors as much as audiences and readers to mindless violence and torrid irrationality under the auspices of literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and science. These plays belong more to an ultramodern zoo than a modern-day theater. In “The Triangulated Diner,” a Camero fishtails across the stage and runs over actors as jungle animals attack the audience. An elephant is hung onstage by a crane for stomping on the head of an abusive handler in “The Dark Hypotenuse.” “Primacy” finds a husband and wife struggling to write the perfect obituary, ideally one that includes wuxia death matches and flying holy men . . . This collection describes a microcosm that is at once uncanny and familiar, weird and ordinary, comedic and horrific. Wilson puts the human condition on trial and challenges us to view theatrics in a different light.
THREE PLAYS BY D. HARLAN WILSON
Trade paperback; 160 pages; $12.95
Cover photograph by Lodiza LePore / DESIGN BY NORMAN CONQUEST
Over 120 pages, featuring Jake Alexander, Alphonse Allais, Alain Arias-Misson, Mark Axelrod, Paulo Brito, Norman Conquest, Farewell Debut, Fiona Duffin, Tom La Farge, Allen Forrest, Ryan Forsythe, Eckhard Gerdes, Rhys Hughes, Janne Karlsson, Teri Lee Kline, Richard Kostelanetz, Jhaki M.S. Landgrebe, Michael Leigh, Terri Lloyd, David Macpherson, Samantha Memi, Monika Mori, Yarrow Paisley, Sheila Pell, Jason E. Rolfe, Doug Skinner, Wendy Walker, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.
Black Scat’s Absurdist Texts & Documents series is divided into sets of six titles each. This year we’ll be closing out the fifth set with AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE by Jason E. Rolfe (#30) and HOROSCRAPES by Doug Skinner (#31). Both gems are imbued with the mischievous spirit of Alphonse Allais.
Indeed, we launched the series in the summer of 2012 with Allais’s story MASKS, and the great French absurdist remains the guiding light behind Black Scat Books–suitably sublime and obscure. You’ll find plenty of evidence in the just released trade paperback SELECTED PLAYS OF ALPHONSE ALLAIS.
Next month we’re publishing a novel by a talented young writer, Suzanne Burns.
“Sweet and Vicious is an inspired exploration of Waldeinsamkeit and (post)romantic angst that turns the mundane into something beautiful and wild. Burns is a gifted writer.” –D. Harlan Wilson. Coming October 15th, just in time for Halloween.
Need we say more?
Artist Terri Lloyd (THE LITTLE RED BOOK OF COMMIE PORN) returns with a new monstrosity that’s in preparation as we speak. For now, the nature of the book must remain under wraps to avoid causing panic. We can only report that it’s another collaboration with Norman Conquest. (Clearly these two don’t know when to stop.)
The grand “utter nonsense” issue of BLACK SCAT REVIEW (#9) is going to be our biggest issue yet. Publication date TBA.
Looking ahead to 2015, you’ll discover books by Mark Axelrod, Eckhard Gerdes, Alain Arias-Misson, Farewell Debut, Carla M. Wilson, Doug Rice, Richard Kostelanetz, and other luminaries.
Ah, the merry month of March hath arrived, and that means the “Pleasure” issue of Black Scat Review will soon be available. In addition to its provocative cover photograph by Eleanor Bennett (a British sixteen year old of astounding talent), the magazine features nearly 80 pages of pleasurable art & fiction by Alain Arias-Misson, Jonathan Baumbach, Guy R. Beining, Miggs Burroughs, Pierre Henri Cami, John Crombie, Farewell Debut, Jacinta Escudos, Stephen D. Gutierrez, Harold Jaffe, Richard Kostelanetz, Terri Lloyd, Samantha Memi, Opal Louis Nations, Derek Pell, Doug Skinner, and D. Harlan Wilson.
This is one issue you won’t want to miss, and to avoid such a catastrophe simply enter your email address in the box in the column at left (below “Join the Underground”). How hard is that?