I was first introduced to Jenny Boully’s not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them through a book club I joined with several other Naropa MFA students. We met over a “Peter Pan” themed potluck (a somewhat baffling concept; I brought ginger snap cookies, though I am still unsure if that was an appropriate choice), and what followed was one of our best book club conversations to date. There is so much about this text — the syntax, the format, the unnerving retelling of a story that once was so comforting — that inspires discussion and exchange. This is a book you want to talk about as soon as you finish reading it, which is why it seemed completely fitting for Brenna Lee to review it for our latest issue.
The most lingering topic of our book club conversation was Boully’s use of form, and how we as readers were meant to follow it. Each of us developed our own technique to navigate through the two narratives which press against each other throughout the entirety of the book. There did not seem to us to be a definitive “way” to read it, but we still wondered if we were missing Boully’s intention of direction.
Perhaps this is your chance to find out for me? This week, I remain in Boulder while many of you stalk toward that delicious Neverland that is the AWP Conference. All you lucky ducks in Chicago should check out one of Jenny Boully’s events, and if she happens to mention anything about the process or technique of reading this particular text, please report it back to me by leaving a comment below. And while you’re roaming around conference land, be sure to stop by the Bombay Gin table and snag a copy of our just-released issue. Happy AWP, lovely writers and readers. Can’t wait to hear all about it!