The Book of Transparencies by Jefferson Navicky
In The Book of Transparencies, the narrator discovers a book in a community college library that changes his life. With increasing intensity, he traces both story and author through New York, Paris, Italy, and Berlin, arriving finally in Maine where the author disappeared decades ago. Part epic love story, part detective novel, The Book of Transparencies is an archive of a man's life, which comes to include the narrator himself. Its pages speak to the permeable, intersecting nature of our memories, and the efforts we make to bring the pieces into wholeness.
"In Jefferson Navicky’s novel, a dreamy scholar pursues the history of a book he’s obsessed with. Navicky’s writing reminds me of late Melville, the Melville of Pierre, familiar and grave from evasion and obsession. His characters travel from “country to country, from mountain to asylum, from object to archive,” under the shadow all lovers must serve and all writers must eventually, and with great sadness, shake off to begin our work. In doing so, Navicky has created a rare document of pain and pleasure. A promising, poetic debut." - Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess
"Jefferson Navicky has created a delight of a debut for its sensuality and invention, its handling of light alongside the deepest dark. The Book of Transparencies is a rarity of its own making, an existential novella in which prose merges with poetry to explore topics of common interests–––love and loss, art and travel, the permanence and impermanence of nature and phenomenon–––in uncommon ways, eluding conventional form, until the reader understands she is standing before a work of innovative fiction and the untethered imagination of its creator. Herein, readers will find a matrix of perspective–––author within author within author–––both illuminating and dark." - Jodi Paloni, author of They Could Live with Themselves
Jefferson Navicky was born in Chicago and grew up in Southeastern Ohio. He is also the author of The Paper Coast (Spuyten Duyvil), and the chapbooks Uses of a Library (Ravenna Press) and Map of the Second Person (Black Lodge Press). His work has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Electric Literature, Hobart, Tarpaulin Sky, and Fairy Tale Review. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection, and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. Jefferson lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and puppy.