Binding: Trade paper
Publication date: November 7, 2023
Is It So? Glimpses, Glyphs, & Found Novels, the last work of fiction from Kevin McIlvoy, showcases the author’s artistic dedication to the irreal, the carnivalesque, to ghost stories, fairy tales and the very short form—to writing that thrives in the edges, margins, and borderlands. Is It So? tunnels deep into the recesses of long-life experience. A retired dance instructor battles a flock of dive-bombing crows for control of his garden. A teacher and his students develop an uncommon bond with a toy parrot. A seeker in the alternate universe of a DMV is dispatched through numberless corridors to see the Clerk of Happiness. With clear-eyed yet transcendent vision Kevin McIlvoy gifts readers “found” stories excavated from the everyday.
Advance praise for Is It So
“Here are wildly innovative stories that reward a second, even a third, reading. Some are funny, others heartbreaking, many both. The best are absolutely brilliant.”
“Kevin McIlvoy’s collection Is It So? straddles ordinary vision and unusual sensations. Recklessly, marvelously, these prose pieces call on us to question reality as they cut a trail through the underbrush of perceptions, giving us glimpses of beauty in sunsets, crows, and phantasms—and an avid discernment of wonder within even the afflicted and the ordinary. “
—Anita Felicelli, author of Chimerica and Love Songs for a Lost Continent
"This dazzling final fiction collection from Kevin McIlvoy dips into and out of sparkling worlds of dark wonder. The glyphs, glimpses, and found novels in Is It So?—from friendships with toy parrots and holy dogs to high-stakes conversations about cake and sonic landscapes to wild instructions for final dispositions—stunningly evoke the tragic brightness and the comic darkness of lived experience. This is a book that dances and sings and dies and lives. This is a book by a master devoted to the daring art of making the most pressing mysteries—the ones beneath the words—deeply, truly, fully felt.
—Joseph Scapellato, author of The Made-Up Man and Big Lonesome
About the author
Kevin “Mc” McIlvoy published six novels, One Kind Favor (WTAW Press), A Waltz (Lynx House Press), The Fifth Station (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; paperback, Collier/Macmillan), Little Peg (Atheneum/Macmillan; paperback, Harper Perennial), Hyssop (TriQuarterly Books; paperback, Avon), and At the Gate of All Wonder (Tupelo Press); a short story collection, The Complete History of New Mexico (Graywolf Press); and a collection of prose poems and short fictions, 57 Octaves Below Middle C (Four Way Books). His short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Southern Review, Ploughshares, Missouri Review, and other literary magazines. His short-short stories, poems, and prose poems have appeared in Scoundrel Time, The Collagist, Pif, Kenyon Review Online, The Cincinnati Review, The Georgia Review, Prime Number, r.k.v.r.y, Willow Springs, Waxwing, and numerous other literary magazines. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction. For twenty-seven years he was fiction editor and editor in chief of the national literary magazine, Puerto del Sol. He taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program in Creative Writing from 1987 to 2019; he taught as a Regents Professor of Creative Writing in the New Mexico State University MFA Program from 1981 to 2008. He served as a faculty member at national conferences, including the Ropewalk Writing Conference, the Rising Stars Writing Conference, the Writers at Work Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writing Conference. He was a manuscript consultant for several university presses and other publishers. He served on the Board of Directors of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. He died September 30, 2022.
Is It So? Glimpses, Glyphs, & Found Novels
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