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The Rat Veda
by James Chapman
$12.00    118 pp.   ISBN 978-1-879193-21-5

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The power and subtlety that Chapman is able to wrench from words, the combination of emotions and images, is truly visionary. He takes simple notions and twists them, burns them, buries them, smothers them until they can�t breathe, until they come out blue-faced and panting and panicked and insatiable. I cannot say enough about Chapman�s skills, and The Rat Veda is a most brilliant example.
--J.A. Tyler, LWOT


The Rat Veda is a novel about an absence. Rat is in love with a dancer he has never seen.

He tries to forget her. He hears her feet dancing overhead. She is all he cares about.

He finds many reasons why he shouldn't love her. But he loves her.

He desiccates his heart through work, he grinds his heart to powder with absurdly difficult tasks. But he still loves her.

He turns all the love in him love over to ideas, to abstractions, to darkness. He tries to occupy his whole heart with the desperate unrequited worship of a subway train. But he still loves this dancer.

For years he tries to kill his emotion in every possible way. And every minute of every single day he thinks about her, this absent love, this possibility, and constantly hears her dancing footsteps over his head.

In order to meet her, in order to love her, he is going to have to change.

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