A “linguist-traveler” arrives by plane to Ravicka, a city of yellow air in which an undefined crisis is causing the inhabitants to flee. Although fluent in the native language, she quickly finds herself on the outside of every experience. Things happen to her, events transpire, but it is as if the city itself, the performance of life there, eludes her. Setting out to uncover the source of the city’s erosion, she is beset by this other crisis—an ontological crisis—as she struggles to retain a sense of what is happening.
Event Factory is the first in a trilogy of novels (the second, The Ravickians, is now also available) that Renee Gladman is writing about the invented city-state of Ravicka, a foreign “other” place fraught with the crises of American urban experience, not least the fundamental problem of how to move through the world at all.
Read an excerpt here.
“There are passages in Event Factory which are furiously beautiful. The evening air is ‘tender’; the light is ‘yellow’; the morning is a ‘greener yellow at the start of the day but every moment growing golden.’ Everything the narrator tries to do ends in failure, but experience somehow happens anyway. And while it’s probably important for the critic to preserve the oddness of Gladman’s project, it must be said that Event Factory, for all its challenging images and language, is cheeky and hilarious. It makes great, unpredictable company.” adam novy, dossier
“Renee Gladman has always struck me as being a dreamer—she writes that way and the dreaming seems to construct the architecture of the world unfolding before our reading eyes. In Event Factory the details of her dream gleam specifically yet they bob on the surface of a deeper wider abyss we all might be becoming engulfed in. It has the strange glamour of Kafka’s Amerika, this book, but the narrator, lusty and persuasive, is growing up.” eileen myles
“In Renee Gladman’s extraordinary Event Factory, the world in all its languaged variousness adumbrates a ‘yellow-becoming’ map for our deepest internal spelunkings, a map we don’t dare do without as we negotiate, along with our intrepid narrator, the world of Ravicka, the sprawling city, where, we might say, to borrow from Gladman, ‘nothing happens, nothing happens, then everything is ‘said’ to happen . . .’ and where we might also say, to borrow from Beckett, the magnifying and minifying mirrors have been shattered and the body has, yes, ‘vanished in the havoc of its images.’ ” laird hunt
COVER ART: contemplando el ritmo del dia, 2005 (contemplating the rhythm of the day), gouache and ink on wood, 36 in x 36 in, Gisela Insuaste
Gisela Insuaste received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BA in Anthropology & Studio Art from Dartmouth. She has participated in exhibitions and projects in venues nationwide, including Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ; Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, IL; Krannert Art Museum-UIUC, Champaign, IL; and Bucket Rider Gallery and Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL. She is the recipient of grants and awards, including a Richard Driehaus/Artadia Emerging Artist Award, Illinois Arts Council Artist Grants, and MacDowell Colony Artist Fellowships, and was recently nominated for a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Sculptors and Painters. Recent exhibitions include Satellite Gallery at the University of Texas, San Antonio, TX; Cuchifritos Gallery; and ABC No Rio, New York, NY. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. For more information, please visit her website.