Eraserhead Press to Publish 'Lepers and Mannequins', A Novel by Eric Beeny

My novel, Lepers and Mannequins, has been accepted for the 2011 New Bizarro Author Series to be published by Eraserhead Press this November. Thanks to editor Kevin Donihe for accepting it, and Lazy Fascist editor/publisher Cameron Pierce for recommending it to Kevin, then suggesting I send it to Kevin. It will be released this November during Bizarro Con 2011.

I wrote the entire first draft of the novel in a notebook back in March of 2008 while recovering from an appendectomy, staring out a window. The cover image for the novel, seen here, was designed by my friend Kenny Dumas (who also did the cover for my prose/poetry collection, Pseudo-Masochism).

Lepers and Mannequins is a mock novel, a surreal allegory about a leper colony warring with a tribe of mannequins over spare parts they need to put themselves back together. The novel’s two protagonists, Jaundice (a female mannequin) and Quall (a male leper), are in love in the midst of this war, recalling Romeo and Juliet. Through satire, the novel explores how disconnected people are from each other and themselves because of underlying issues like personal and cultural identity, love, sex, dominance and ownership, and how humans tend to objectify other humans for their own purposes, including women, but mostly just people they don’t know or understand.

In this latter sense, the novel also deals with the very human concern of war, and the possession of finite natural resources (in the novel, those resources being spare parts/limbs), and how humans on any side of any conflict must, by necessity, project the enemy as always plastic, two-dimensional, mannequin-like, because, if those fighting actually thought of the enemy as human, they might feel empathetic. The fact that humans in the novel rebuild themselves using mannequin parts shows how, through striving at any cost to maintain their humanity and their identity, they ultimately lose it. This is the mannequin metaphor, and suggests a surprising parallel: The mannequins were themselves once human...

Early versions of two chapters from the novel appeared in Ben Spivey and David Peak’s journal, Spilt Milk, and another chapter appeared in Pear Noir! #3. (Daniel Casebeer, editor of Pear Noir!, would later publish my novella, Milk Like a Melted Ghost, as an e-book for Thumbscrews Press.) Thank you for your time.

10 comments:

Jason Jordan said...

Congrats, man. It sounds like an interesting story, and I dig the cover.

Ethel Rohan said...

Congratulations, Eric. I'm thrilled for you.

wordsforguns said...

I can't wait to read this. The cover makes me want to throw a knife at a cloud.

Eric Beeny said...

@Jason: Awesome, thanks...
@Ethel: Thanks so much...
@Matt: Nice, I wonder if the knife would get stuck in the cloud and float away and disappear, or whether the cloud would deflate and fall to the Earth for someone to use as a sleeping bag...

adam moorad said...

SWEET

Eric Beeny said...

Thanks, Adam...

swine said...

Tweet this when it comes out w/link to where to buy it. Congrats, Eric. I'm down w/this.

Eric Beeny said...

@Alex: Sweet, thanks, I will...

Mel Bosworth said...

i love that cover.

Eric Beeny said...

Thanks Bozzy, me too. Kenny's sweet...