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I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

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I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins
Paperback $18.00
Oct 04, 2022 | ISBN 9780593330227

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Praise for I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness:

“Intense, intelligent, and bristly. . . . angry and alive. . . . a virtuoso performance.” The New York Times Book Review

“An audaciously candid story . . . . Watkins’s book sparks the same electric jolt that The Awakening must have sent juicing through Kate Chopin’s readers in 1899.” The Washington Post

“A tour-de-force. . . . Much of motherhood literature can radiate a sort of wounded egotism, as if the greatest crime that society might commit against a woman were to think ill of her. Watkins, though, neither stews nor panders. She just follows her light.” The New Yorker

“Unequivocally triumphant. . . . Watkins shows readers — and perhaps proves to herself — that one does not have to choose the lesser of two evils. A woman can want motherhood and the rest of her life.” —NPR

“[A] surreal autofiction masterpiece . . . .  written in sharp language that is both deeply funny and painful. Completely absent any navel-gazing or self-pity, it is a book that probes questions of family, feminism, ecology, and home, and refuses to settle on easy answers. . . . absolutely original.”Los Angeles Review of Books

“Our most significant rising writer of the American West. . . . I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness is a road trip story gone wild. . . . It’s career-redefining and absolutely bonkers in all the best ways.” —Vulture

“The brutal, arid, electric terrain of remote California and Nevada crackles across almost every page. . . . trippy and beautiful, slippery and seductive—a unique psycho-geography of a region that is integral to the American vision and yet seems to have too few literary chroniclers.” Vogue

“A beguiling, biting exploration of motherhood (and personhood) that weaves in rich biographical details and is set in the desert heat of her California and Nevada hometowns.” Vanity Fair

“Darkly funny and poignant.” –E! Online

“A beautifully arranged tackle box of everything Watkins does best — cut-through-the-bone narrative of family apocalypses; custom blending of the historical, the unimaginable and the impossible; enchanting, terrifying encounters with the American West.” –Los Angeles Times

“Daring . . . Boldly imagined and authoritatively told, this ambitious novel reminds us that Watkins is one of the most visionary writers working today.” Esquire

“Dark and edgy—but also dazzling.” Entertainment Weekly

“A wild, hilarious novel, told with a contagious, unchained ferocity. It’s a wonderful book by an author who’s quickly proven herself indispensable to American literature.” –Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Worth the wait. A bracing and reckless piece of autofiction set in the crackling terrain of the American West, it’s the work of a writer at the top of her game, her hand remaining steady even as her narrator’s life spirals exhilaratingly out of control.”The Chicago Review of Books

“A dark, and darkly funny, work of autofiction from [a] gifted writer.” –USA Today

“A knockout of a book. Alternately funny and heartbreaking.” –Pop Sugar
“Funny and fearsome.”Philadelphia Inquirer

“If the evocative name of the book doesn’t grab you, Vaye Watkins’ stylish prose likely will.” —Thrillist

“The author’s wry writing style shines. . . . [painting] a detailed, colorful portrait of life after grief, and the powerful cycle of generational trauma.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A simply incredible title, and the novel within definitely lives up to it. . . . a compelling portrait of a woman on the brink.” —Hey Alma
“[A] surreal, hilarious, and sneakily devastating hybrid of autobiography and fiction. . . . [with] a voice that blazes with ferocious wit and candor.” —Lit Hub

“Reckless and defiantly intelligent, Watkins detonates the ties that bind. … Incandescent writing illuminates one woman’s life in flames.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A wily fusion of autobiography and imagination. . . . [Watkins is] reckless, infuriating, ribald, incisive, and hilarious. In the spirit of Edward Abbey, Hunter Thompson, and Joy Williams, Watkins has forged a desert tale of howling pain and a chaotic quest for healing mythic in its summoning of female power in a realm of double-wides, loaded dice, broken glass, and hot springs.” —Booklist (starred)

“There’s some kind of genius sorcery in this novel. It’s startlingly original, hilarious and harrowing by turns, finally transcendent. Watkins writes like an avenging angel. It’s thrilling and terrifying to stand in her wake.” —Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and Weather

“This book is stupendously good. It practically vibrates in its ferocious frankness, and is so funny too that one can’t help but fall for this voice, even in the pain, because of the pain, with the pain. A marvel.”—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and The Butterfly Lampshade

Praise for Claire Vaye Watkins:

“The most captivating voice to come out of the West since Annie Proulx — though it’s to early Joan Didion that [Watkins] bears comparison for her arid humor and cut-to-the-chase knowingness.” —Vogue

“Watkins’ vision . . . is mercilessly sharp. She’s got a knife eye for details, a vicious talent for cutting to the throbbing vein of animal strangeness that scratches inside all of us.” —NPR

“Watkins writes with a brutal kind of beauty. . . . [that] forces us to confront things we’d probably rather ignore, but because we’re human, we can’t.” —Los Angeles Times

“The writing, with its tough sentimentality, is reminiscent of Denis Johnson’s, but Watkins has a style of mordant observation all her own.” —Harper’s Bazaar

“Clear-eyed and nimble in parsing the lives of her Westerners, one of Watkins’s strengths is not dodging that the simple fact that love can be tragic, involving, as it does, humans so flawed, so often tender and yet incapable.” —The Boston Globe

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