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Pilot Impostor by James Hannaham
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Pilot Impostor by James Hannaham
Hardcover $28.00
Nov 30, 2021 | ISBN 9781593767013

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  • Nov 30, 2021 | ISBN 9781593767013

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  • May 31, 2022 | ISBN 9781593767020

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“A funny and compelling meditation on the self and knowledge, authenticity and identity, mortality and chance, Pilot Impostor unfolds in tragic and comic fragments, allusions, and inventions. Unexpected—also beautiful.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, The Refugees, and The Committed

“Hannaham’s book—not quite a novel, not quite a short story collection, not quite like anything else—is a clever series of reflections on art, doubt, race, and impostor syndrome . . . Hannaham continues to be one of the country’s smartest and most surprising writers of fiction . . . Unclassifiable, dizzying, and gorgeous.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“If, like me, you loved Delicious Foods and have been waiting for an encore, the mishmash of poems and photographs you find in your hands here might make you nervous, but by its end you’ll be glad that James Hannaham made the choices he did. For, as Hannaham himself writes, in ‘Rinse Aid’: ‘Find me a business like a poem—constructed with ecstasy and precision, guided by honesty, truth-seeking, compassionate. I’ll work there.'” —Bradley Bazzle, The Rumpus

“Whether read as prose poems or short aphoristic thought experiments, the pieces are infused with Hannaham’s distinctive dark humor, biting social commentary, and ever-present exuberance . . . Calling to mind a blend of Jorge Luis Borges, Donald Barthelme, David Markson, and Steve Martin, the result is daringly original and uninhibitedly inventive, born aloft by subversive verve.” —Booklist

“A captivating blend of prose and verse . . . Hannaham’s stimulating work moves like a plane in tailspin, tossing off flashes of wisdom as the ground below gets ever closer. It’s a ride worth taking.” —Publishers Weekly

“A wild symphony of language, image, and philosophico-political outrage, James Hannaham’s Pilot Impostor is a gift to the genre-curious and Genius-averse: gorgeous, brutal, funny, intimate, enraging, cathartic, anti-cathartic, romantic (small-r), and deliriously, entirely itself.” —Anna Moschovakis, International Booker Prize-winning translator and poet

Pilot Impostor takes us on an exhilarating, incandescent ride. Words crash, meanings disintegrate and reincarnate, histories disappear and appear on the radar, and against all odds the pilot knows exactly where we’re headed. As Juliane Diller, the lone survivor of the 1971 crash of Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop, once described the paradox: ‘I hadn’t left the plane; the plane had left me.'” —Monique Truong, author of The Sweetest Fruits and The Book of Salt

“Micro essays, flash fictions, prose poems: however you choose to label James Hannaham’s rebuses of posture and imposture, self and anti-self, they are endlessly inventive, thought-provoking, and delightful. Mixing text and image, playfulness and profundity, Pilot Impostor updates the flight manual of shape-shifting twentieth-century masters—Calvino, Borges, Perec—and most of all Fernando Pessoa, poetic champion of identity theft. ‘So too in my soul do aircraft vanish’—well now, that’s the type of pilot we’ve been looking for!” —Campbell McGrath, author of Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems

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