Tribute by Anne Germanacos
In her masterful second book, Anne Germanacos gets right down to the elemental: the single line. Tribute is a work of prose--novel, essay, experiment in narrative?--created from distinct lines, a work of continual shape-shift and exhilarating motion. Tribute chronicles the daily life of a woman whose mother is dying and who begins to see a psychoanalyst, a woman who lives among lovers, sisters, and children, across continents and their conflicts (New York, San Francisco, Crete, Cyprus, Israel/Palestine). The book that results offers us both her story--forcefully sensual, vibrantly lived--and, through its bold form, her complex relationship to story.
Germanacos's restless relationship to form is born of that most essential restlessness: desire. In Tribute she documents desire's manifold incarnations, the body's and the mind's; she pays beautiful tribute to the force of desire and to those who have been bold enough to try to comprehend it--gentle echoes remind us of H.D. and her Freud. In the tradition of Clarice Lispector, David Markson, and Marguerite Duras, Tribute takes us deep into the borderlands where fiction and nonfiction meet. The first book in Rescue Press's new series of innovative prose, this is a work of profound ambition and rare urgency.
Anne Germanacos is the author of the short-story collection In the Time of the Girls (BOA Editions, 2010). Together with her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Studies Program on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete. She now runs the Germanacos Foundation in San Francisco.
To request a review copy, please email rescuepress [at] gmail [dot] com.
Advance praise for Tribute:
"In a form all its own, navigating aphorism, journal, poetry, and novel, Anne Germanacos sounds out the profound territory of eros and grief, and their often unexplored interdependence. The beauty and agony of a mother's slow death, a daughter's striving body and perambulating mind: the sprawl of Tribute contains both, and admirably explores stations of rage, stasis, melancholy, observation, and desire."
"What can language do to resolve grief, to forge or release intimacy? In Tribute, Anne Germanacos responds to these mysteries by scouring and saving lit moments, phrases, and scraps. Far from being an act of withholding or willful sketchiness, Tribute is a passionate erasure back to bone. Reading, one experiences the need to stop and look up-as if encountering in a poem a particularly deft use of space which isolates and frames a moment for lavishing. It could take years to read this book, or an afternoon--either would be right--depending on your capacity for the flash-wisdom of aphorism and the pace at which you take your shots of insight." --Lia Purpura
"Anne Germanacos writes with wit and passion: she is a modern metaphysical poet. Her one-line fragments, discrete and connected, probe the desires and terrors of her embodied existence. Her words move us inward to our own most vital and painful zones. A rigorous, resonant voice." --Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
"Anne Germanacos's Tribute is like nothing I have ever read before. A novel in poetic form, prose poetry, or her own invented style, this is an amazing, original and captivating read. Taking off from HD's (the poet Hilda Doolittle) Tribute to Freud, Germanacos deals with the narrator's experience of psychoanalysis, her dying mother, love, sexuality, dreams and much more. Like the mystical-spiritual HD, presenting analysis and the other topics in this poetic form seems just right. Each evocative, impressionistic line can be unpacked by the reader in a variety of ways, making for a uniquely rich experience." --Louis Breger
"A kaleidoscope that can well hold a reader securely while containing a soul."
"A master of silence and the subtle pass, Germanacos builds her absorbing and seductive narratives from a thousand fragments. Her paradoxes--intimate, edgy, and luminous--tease us through a maze of reflections on mothers and daughters, Freud, sex and desire, and politics. 'What is it that writing does to a life?' Tribute is her answer: it gives it meaning."
"Anne Germanacos’ moving Tribute is at once arrestingly precise, deeply mysterious, and wholly unexpected. Every sentence is written with the acuity and emotional complexity of a poem, and in the charged spaces in between these sentences, the inexpressible reposes—beyond grief, beyond love, there for the reader to recognize and absorb in a visceral, transformative way."