Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in
Pub Date: 01/15/2024
List Price: $24.95
Pub Date: 01/15/2024
List Price: $114.95
ImprintGeorgia Review Books
A novel that leads us to question the most fundamental aspects of our existence
At Treasure Island, a humanly made island in the San Francisco Bay, a performance troupe dressed in hazmat suits articulate gestures that resemble toxic remediation. As they become more attuned to the site and to its history and ecology, enigmatic presences infiltrate their spacetime. Are they from the past, the present, or the future? What is the significance of their sudden arrival? What happens when historical and geological eras converge?
Meanwhile, elsewhere, various earth scientists at sites around the globe search for the “golden spike”: a telltale geologic marker that synchronously indicates a definitive time change in the strata—a change from the Holocene epoch to the Anthropocene. Within their data is Earth’s biography, but how is humanity insinuated within this chronology?
Throughout Presence, encounter and contact are the major elements of consequence, action, implication, and resounding significance. Encounter and contact between timeframes, cultures, ecologies, persons, intuitions, ways of living, and worlding. At these junctures are the moments of possibility—of violence and/or of budding community.
—Elvia Wilk, author of Death by Landscape
—Daisy Hildyard, author of The Second Body
—Megan Milks, author of Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body
—Janice Lee, author of Separation Anxiety
—Anne K. Yoder, author of The Enhancers
—Will Alexander, author of The Coming Mental Range
—Joshua Schuster, author of What Is Extinction?
With hypersensitive attunement to interbeing, Brenda Iijima’s Presence is a vitally necessary vision. Amidst the harsh realities of existence on a devastated planet, its polygendered residents cultivate communal pleasures of mutuality and empathy. Its characters speak as We, engendering alternative biomes and new forms of kinship. Their society finds ways of flourishing, like mutant flowers blooming from the toxic ruins of Chernobyl.
Strangely and wondrously, Iijima's characters develop new perceptual abilities, as if around a phantom limb of extinction. They express themselves telepathically. They sensually forage. They commune with extinct mosses and flowers. They touch light. They cultivate synaesthesiac intensities.
As temporal tectonic plates shift and collide, mysterious beings appear in each other’s dimensions. The past and its afterlives vividly penetrate the present, and the futures that will emerge from them. Multiple temporalities overlap and time exists as an infinite present, demonstrating that we cannot escape the reverberations of the past, and therefore our present, our presence, matters.
—Marianne Shaneen, author of Lucent Amnesis
—Michelle Sharpe, Foreword Review