Fiction. LGBT Studies. African American Studies. In NEWCOMER CAN'T SWIM, Renee Gladman invites us to accompany her protagonists on their treks into, through and across variegated, mysterious soulspaces and dreamscapes, troubling the surfaces and boundaries of story and genre. Her figures touch down, chapter by chapter, onto beaches, city streets, and unmarked territories, in which echoes, shadows, and parallel presences delineate borders of the cannily strange. As the narrative flickers before us, gathering into an enthralling flow, we find ourselves recording with unmeasured exhilaration that Gladman once again is mapping one of the most original and vital courses in contemporary literature.
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Renee Gladman is the author of thirteen published works, including a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, the Ravickians-Event Factory (2010), The Ravickians (2011), Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (2013) and Houses of Ravicka (2017)-as well as two collections of drawings, PROSE ARCHITECTURES (2017) and One Long Black Sentence, a series of white ink drawings on black paper, indexed by Fred Moten (2020). Recent essays and visual work have appeared in The Paris Review, Gulf Coast, Granta, Harper's, BOMB, e-flux, and n+1. She has been awarded fellowships, artist grants, and residencies from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Lannan Foundation, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), among others, and is the recipient of a 2021 Windham-Campbell prize in fiction. For more information, visit reneegladman.com.