An invocation, an elegy, a way to begin after the end.
Two women set out through the haze of social and environmental collapse in search of fertile soil. As they travel through deserts, burned-over forests, and lightless mountain caverns, they learn to navigate the terrain of their evolving connection. An invocation, an elegy, a postcard home, Sift is a story about family wounds, humanity’s failures, how to care for one another at the end, and how to make a new beginning.
“Sift reminds us that to exist is to journey through a world until only our horizon remains. To read Hattman is to put language through a sieve, and study its glimmering remains. If you look closely enough what reflects back might be your own face. A gorgeous debut about listening to the distant sounds of a world falling away, and how its echoes might spell hope.”—Sabrina Orah Mark, author of Happily
“Alissa Hattman’s Sift is an extraordinarily palpable rendition of how love and grief might be reshaped by our still-unfolding climate crisis. If there is great loss here, there is also great beauty—in the natural world, in the language that evokes it, and in the better relationships we might choose with the nonhuman and with each other.”—Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
“In kinship with Octavia Butler’s parables, but rooted in our time, Sift is a beautiful, pastoral novel about how to care for another when the end is coming. This is a book that is also a vision.”—Amina Cain, author of Indelicacy and A Horse at Night
“Inviting and moving inside the challenges of apocalypse, Sift is tangled in love and identity and the bigness of the world in its most intimate places.”—Raki Kopernik, author of The Things You Left and The Memory House
“Sift is a fractured, feverish, beautiful song of mourning and of care, its questions urgent, its melodies complex.”—Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks
“Borrowing from the scientific terms for plant and animal life, we are (re)introduced to ourselves on the granular level, prompting us to ask questions like ‘what does it mean to be human?’ ‘What is a friend,’ and ‘do I exist even if my body has been left behind?’”—Kathleen Alcalá, author of Spirits of the Ordinary and The Flower in the Skull
“Alissa Hattman’s Sift is gorgeous, fierce, and wise. In this dystopian, woman-centric landscape, the boundaries between internal and external reality are shimmeringly porous, and heartbreak and magic are intertwined. Hattman is a profoundly gifted stylist who never loses sight of the novel’s deep emotional center.”—Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney
“A lush and lyrical vision of growth amid environmental catastrophe Sift shows us how to grieve the past while nurturing new human connections and shared, regenerative landscapes.”—Thea Prieto, author of From the Caves
“Today we are lucky to hold a book by Alissa Hattman, whose attentions to time, gradient, and tremor have always been realized through the knowledge that a world with these abilities must also hold beauty and truth. These edges, Tortula now explains repeatedly and truly, are how we learn to wonder, to trust, and crucially, to repair.”—Mairead Case, author of Tiny
Alissa Hattman's writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Carve, The Gravity of the Thing, Propeller, Big Other, Shirley Magazine, MAYDAY, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Pacific University and a MA in English Literature from Portland State University. Alissa has worked as a fiction editor, book reviewer, zine librarian, writing group facilitator, and teacher. SIFT is her first book. More at www.alissahattman.com.