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Fiction. The house is haunted but nobody's home. Only us chickens, standing still as sculpture while Loulou, the immortal Pomeranian, & Georgette, Magritte's guardian angel, take us on a tour of the asylum. The rooms in Kathleen Rooney's THE LISTENING ROOM are always listening, always watching. The walls have ears. The tears have eyes. Sometimes the screams are silent. Sometimes the silence is deafening. Stark & hard-edged as the paintings themselves, this novel in poems and flashes inhabits a world much like our own—suspended in a glazed animation of doomed hope & hopeful doom, where the virtual is realer than reality, where the muse & the bemused are confused, where the funny is wedded to the sad in unholy matrimony. "Mystery," Magritte wrote late in life, "is not one of the possibilities of reality. Mystery is what is absolutely necessary for reality to exist." Take a load off. Escape is not an option. There are no windows & no doors, only holes through which the sky or an oncoming train pours in. The stairs dead end. The clouds are voodoo dolls, sweet enough to eat. But who, Georgette & Loulou forever wonder, will devour whom?
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novels THE LISTENING ROOM: A NOVEL OF GEORGETTE AND LOULOU MAGRITTE (Spork Press, 2018) and O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014), and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). A winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, her reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Rumpus, The Nation, the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, was published by St. Martin's Press in January of 2017.Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA