‘I mean who cares about opinions, gossip, whatever, when bodies are so vulnerable, in search only of love and breath.’
The body frequently escapes her, but is always very much present in these compellingly vivid, clear-eyed essays on an embodied self in flight through the world, from the brilliant young writer Ellena Savage.
In Portuguese police stations and Portland college campuses, in suburban Melbourne libraries and wintry Berlin apartments, Savage shows bodies in pain and in love, bodies at work and at rest.
She circles back to scenes of crimes or near-crimes, to lovers or near-lovers, to turn over the stones, re-read the paperwork, check the deeds, approach from another angle altogether. These essays traverse cities and spaces, bodies and histories, moving through forms and modes to find a closer kind of truth. Blueberries is ripe with acid, promise, and sweetness.
Praise for Yellow City: 'And it's so funny! So snide and clever and irreverent.' -- Eloise Grills, author of Big Beautiful Female Theory Praise for Yellow City: 'Delving into troubling territory, Savage brings a fierce intellect, sharp wit, and a handful of uncomfortable truths. To read her is to be simultaneously thrilled and uneasy. Savage is a writer not to miss.' -- Jessie Cole, author of Staying Praise for Yellow City: 'In Yellow City, Ellena Savage's mind translates the memory of violence into astonishingly brilliant language. She perfectly articulates the creeping feeling that one's life is irreversible in a way that, prior to reading, I felt language may be incapable of capturing. This made me sure that she was either a genius, or a witch, or my dream coupling of the two.' -- Rita Bullwinkel, author of Belly Up 'Savage navigates delicate and difficult terrain with wit, ruthless scrutiny and painfully sharp analysis ... If Yellow City is any indication, Blueberries will be one of the most exciting debuts of the new year.' * Overland * 'Ellena Savage, in Blueberries, confronts the past convulsively, compulsively. In dialogic language and form, the author, facing memory's traumas and perplexities, and also its delights, is constantly aware that it's all about the translation of experience from the private to the public realm. In extremis, which is where Savage shines especially, it's as if she saying to the "repressed": go ahead and return; make my day.' -- David Lazar, Professor of Creative Writing, Columbia College Chicago 'Reading Ellena Savage's Blueberries engaged me completely. Savage's sparkling writing is bold, witty, insightful, fearless, and funny. It emerges from an astute mind at odds with itself, with culture and society. Savage wrestles and plays with received ideas of all kinds, and with what has and hasn't shaped her. Savage's fierce essays and stories are true to a lived life, and fascinating and irresistible.' -- Lynne Tillman, author of Men and Apparitions: A Novel 'A breathtaking interrogation of the self in the world; the self within structures of power and oppression ... Blueberries is exciting and distinctive.' STARRED REVIEW * Books+Publishing * 'Blueberries feels like laying down on the train tracks and looking up at the sky - a reverie, shot through by a feeling of acceleration, of something vast coming at you. Ellena's essays are heartstopping epics of self-inquiry and world-inquiry.' -- Maria Tumarkin, author of Axiomatic 'Once I started reading Blueberries, I found it almost impossible to put down. It's fascinating to watch Ellena Savage's mind at work in this book - her essays unfurl, expand and dance in unexpected and satisfying ways. This is a masterful, fearless book in which strength and vulnerability collide.' -- Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else 'Ellena Savage is a rare kind of true intellectual, a voice that rises above the cacophony with remarkable insight. In Blueberries she cuts fearless swathes through the ways that we write and think and live now and leaves us far better for it: the book is unsettling, life-affirming and essential.' * Jean Hannah Edelstein, author of This Really Isn't About You * 'Ellena Savage is savagely smart and talented.' -- Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room
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