Due out in early 2019
A woman drives through California with something in her trunk.
There are ghosts on the road and she is on the run.
"Tracing and butting up: blood lines, boundary lines, familial lineages, the lines on maps. Calkins reveals the unresolved, the lost, the inaccessible, and the lingering of the fugitive assemblage which is grief and journey and rupture and self. Oh, dear reader, how do I even attempt to describe the breathlessness and devastation felt while navigating this heartbreaking and tender text? 'If it is love that injures, how can we heal,' the text asks, and all I can do is plumb the inescapable depths of my own meanderings, a preposterous weight that crawls up my spine and splits my bowels. Fugitive Assemblage is piercing and marvelous. Autumn approaches and I sit at my desk alone, weeping. Indeed, 'all of this is story.'"
- Janice Lee, author of The Sky Isn't Blue and executive editor of Entropy
"Fugitive Assemblage is mysterious, restless, searching, flat out beautiful, and finally, heartbreaking. I don't think I've ever read grief in a way that feels so true. And then there is just this absolute pleasure in the language, the atmosphere, the constant move forward through the Southern California landscape and through history. Joan Didion meets Bhanu Kapil meets the films of Kelly Reichardt. It's like a long, hot day that turns into a harrowing night, and yet at the end, somehow, there is a sense of peace."
- Amina Cain, author of Creature
"Jennifer Calkins is a scientist/poet/teacher/parent and soon to be environmental lawyer. She is also blessed with the wisdom and clarity that depression instills. She paints bleak and beautiful landscapes in our brains with all of the grace and horror of Cormac McCarthy. Fugitive Assemblage is a road story , a darkly funny odyssey in a Datsun careening thru a very haunted desert apocalyptic California. The haunting here is being done by her ancestral demons. This is the best to date work by Jennifer. Get in the Datsun."
- Thor Harris, musician Thor & Friends and Swans
Jennifer Calkins was a professor of evolutionary biology. She is now an attorney. Her books include A Story of Witchery and The Quail Diaries. She lives in Seattle with several creatures including two teenage humans.