A First Look at Cavar’s “Failure to Comply” – Chicago Review of Books


The Chicago Review of Books is excited to feature the cover reveal of Cavar’s debut novel, “Failure to Comply.”

The blurb, author bio, and quotes that follow are all courtesy of the book’s publicist, Addie Tsai: “Failure to Comply is an abolitionist text concerned with trans, disabled, and Mad liberation as a speculative art…Every story has its fugitives. I, a deviant self-hacker with three arms, two stomachs, and no name, is on the run from RSCH, an high-tech, authoritarian government that mandates wellness and carves the contours of truth itself. When I is kidnapped at axe-point to be mined for forbidden memories, they must struggle against RSCH’s medical abuse to recapture their history, reunite with their lover, and rewrite their future—or risk remaining Patient forever…I crosses an epistolary, time-flipped dreamscape as they recollect their memories from RSCH’s hungry archive, and, in the process, write the story of their liberation.”

The cover was designed by Zach Dodson and was based on a drawing created by his eight-year-old son, an attempt to “try to copy out a favorite game of his.” Both Zach and his son will share the cover credit on the book. When asked about the cover, Zach said, “My son loves to draw, usually cars, but this caught my eye because at first I didn’t understand what it was. He told me he was missing a favorite game of his, one with a city grid, so he decided to recreate it on paper. I love the down and dirty depiction of a grid, where every single square failed to comply in some way. It gave off a mysterious vibe, slightly eerie. And the abstraction of it spoke to the smart, subversive, underhanded nature of Cavar’s text. A glance doesn’t give you all you need to know, there’s a subtlety and depth to the variation and detail, and I liked that you had to concentrate, and try to understand it, to read into it.”

[sarah] Cavar, an anti-genre writer, PhD candidate, and instructor of undergraduates on both coasts, is editor-in-chief of manywor(l)ds.place, and has had work published in The Offing, Split Lip Magazine, Electric Lit, and elsewhere. They said, “This cover struck me in that it spoke to a certain feeling, a certain uncanniness, I associate (and sense myself) in the bowels of RSCH, the institution that governs the lives of those living in Failure to Comply. White, empty boxes stand in a line. Above them hangs a hook – a knife – an axe? What is it reaching for, what does it seek? Who is on the other end? And who strikes out the boxes beside my name? This cover raised so many questions in me, as well as goosebumps on my arms. I felt the same sense of dread as I feel when I see an abandoned doll in a horror film, or a child’s drawing. Obviously, when Zach mentioned that his son made the drawing, this association fell into place. I’m in love with the simplicity and strangeness.”

See Also

Failure to Comply
By Cavar
Featherproof Books
August 6, 2024


Source link