Peter Markus, whose Bob, or Man on Boat, we'd published, brought me a copy of Robert Lopez's short story manuscript. We liked it quite a bit, but then Robert let s know that he'd have to remove one of the stories as he wasn't done with it--it was becoming his second novel, Kamby Bolongo Mean River, a novel that we ended up publishing before Asunder, the collection that would be the result of his original manuscript less one short story. We signed Robert to a two book deal and published Asunder in November 2010.
By the author of Kamby Bolongo Mean River, one of the 25 Most Important Books of the Decade, according to HTMLGiant.
The unforgettable stories in Robert Lopez's Asunder vary in length and style, but all of them devastate, all constantly cross the boundaries between poetry and prose. Here we have characters who are uncertain of themselves, of the people surrounding them. Here people are in trouble and need help. The compressed lyricism of these stories seems driven by the silence of what is not said, what lies beneath the lines and between them. As in his novels Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, this elliptical tension of the language gives way to moments of grace and savage humor, leaving the reader startled, as though the world were a complete surprise.
"Robert Lopez and his writing are original and pure, fearless and hypnotic. He is one of the brave protagonists of American literature." —Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody
"For a great long while something was broken inside our language. Robert Lopez took what was broken and did something more than simply repair it. He repaired what was broken and broke it again and made it human. Beautiful and ugly and lastingly mortal, our language through Lopez becomes a kind of song. The kind of song we all might sing to bring some laughter from our deathbeds." —David McLendon, editor of Unsaid
"If Lopez’s earlier books didn’t prove to readers that he is a word-storm, a force of literary nature come unhinged, blowing shutters against readers’ houses, then Asunder surely will. This is a collection as proof, a collection as loveliness, a collection as rippage, and we are lucky to get it into our waiting hands, its words into our heads." —J.A. Tyler, The Rumpus
"He indulges in monologues, daydreams, and narrative meanderings, the sentences firing off and ending like flash messages between synapses...that's why it was such a thrill and a pleasure to read." —The Literary Review
"Lopez confronts the world of page-long descriptions and destroys the notion that a good story needs to be overly saturated... The opposite could be said of the stories in Asunder. In a world of noise, Lopez offers quiet. There is a tremendous restraint to the language in the collection. The prose is simple and powerful; it reminds the reader that sometimes more is conveyed in silences." —Tyler Gillespie, Ampersand Books
"Admirers of the short-short form will appreciate this collection. With perfection in phrasing and attention to the minutiae of prose, Asunder presents a model for how new the English language can seem. There is nothing tried or tired here." —Alex Myers, NewPages