Arc and the Sediment: a Novel

Arc and the Sediment: a Novel

by Christine Allen-Yazzie

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Overview

Gretta Bitsilly, a gin-steeped mother of two and self-proclaimed expert at standing just outside the margins of ethnicity and peering in, has been all but eclipsed by the world that eludes her—as a wife, as a writer, as a skeptic in "the other land of Zion," Utah. Gretta has set off to Fort Defiance, Arizona, where she hopes to convince her Navajo husband, who has escaped not from his family but from alcoholism, to come home. Over a sputtering two-steps-forward, one-step-back desert journey, Gretta is diverted by chance, by seizures, an inconstant memory, and the disjointed character of her irresolute quest. She is fueled by a volatile mix of rage and curiosity and is rendered careless by ambivalence toward her marriage—she knows a welcome mat will not be waiting for her, "that white girl" who can't seem to get anything right. On route Gretta fi nds herself lost in the landscape, in strange company, or in her own convolution of language and inner space. With a dictionary and a laptop she attempts to write herself into a better existence—a hopeful existence—and to connect points of intellectual, physical, even spiritual reference.

This tale, though dark and difficult, is infused with tart, twisted humor. Confused, disheveled, self-deprecating, and self-destructive, Gretta is also sharp and funny. Here, first-time novelist Christine Allen-Yazzie breaks apart her own narrative arc but with gritty reality seals it near-shut again, if in rearrangement, drawing us into Gretta's wrestling match with herself, her husband, her addiction, and the road.

The Arc and the Sediment received an honorable mention from the James Jones First Novel Competition, and it won the Utah Arts Council Annual Writing Competiton Publishing Prize.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874216554
Publisher: Utah State University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Christine Allen-Yazzie's collection of short fiction has been recognized with a Utah Arts Council grant and by the Drue Heinz competition as a runner-up. Her stories have been published in a number of literary journals, most recently Dos Passos Review. She has an MFA in creative writing.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents The Plan 5 The Plan, Amended New Breasts = New Bras To Food Dear James 21 You Got to Cut Its Throat 26 Hello, Please Help Me 36 How to Make the World a Better Place 39 Just So You're All Right Now 46 All That Matters 50 The Arc and the Sediment 56 A Sore Cursing 62 Hello, Kitty 70 Fruit Sauce Should Always Be Served on the Side 86 The Curiously Multifaceted Nature of Victimization 94 The Wavering Red Light 101 An Unspeakable Shine 105 Entering the Third Dimension 109 Forward, Anywhere 121 What Becomes of Virginia Dare 126 In the Vat Lies the Fruit 127 Second Place Is Pretty Good, Considering 139 A Little Reluctance Goes a Long Way 141 I Want Some Cookies 148 Who's Your Butterfly? 151 In Drills and Bursts 157 Rubber Hatchets 165 I'm Saying If 167 I'm Saying When 170 Do You Want to Save Changes? 175 As a Matter of Spite 188 Keeping It Out 191 Words for Later 198 And Also It Goes Back to That Whistle 209 They'll Eat My Irises 217 Or What 225 The Image Lasts All the Way Across 230

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