Books

An Arrangement of Skin

An Arrangement of Skin embodies what thrills me most in the essay form—an artist trying, over and over, to find the different paths into the subterranean realms of her subconscious. An early and unlikely image—taxidermy—contains the essence of the various tensions that connect these thoughts. For Journey, taxidermy evokes that ineffable spark of life: call it a soul, a personality, a sentienceAn Arrangement of Skin is by turns transformative and vital, and with it Journey takes her place alongside Biss, Jamison, and D’Ambrosio.”

—Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

“While reading Anna Journey’s An Arrangement of Skin, I kept feeling as though I was riding on a boat, being toured through some beautiful places and some dark places, the person at the oars capably pushing ahead all the while with grace, curiosity, and persistence.”

—Maggie Nelson, author of The Red Parts

Done with the compass, done with the chart! cried Emily Dickinson, tossing aside familiar ways of navigating the body’s wild seas. Anna Journey’s adventurous book traces what it is to be flesh in a surprising suite of essays that turns—like Ovid’s poems, or Plath’s—around images of dismemberment and metamorphosis. She might be our first Southern Gothic essayist, and she invigorates the form with both a poet’s lyricism and the distinctive signature of her character: a vulnerable heart wedded to an acute, comic, unsparing eye.”

—Mark Doty, author of Heaven’s Coast

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