Aesthetically precise and formally daring, Renee Gladman sets us adrift in the country of her imagination, challenging us to puzzle out fluency, space, and meaning along the way.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Renee Gladman is the author of numerous books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. At the core of her work is a critically acclaimed cycle of novels about the imagined city-state of Ravicka and its inhabitants: Event Factory (2010), The Ravickians (2011), Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (2013), and Houses of Ravicka (2017). Like Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren, Gladman’s Ravicka novels open onto a world both like and unlike our own, presenting a surrealistic vista of Escher-like architectures that is strange, vivid, and uncanny yet that is always lucid and, on occasion, piercingly familiar. In Ravicka, we are all dislocated and queer, strangers in a strange land—alien to others and, even, to ourselves. Gladman’s work, both poetry and prose, bears the mark of a singular and vertiginous authorial intelligence, a fierce and careful attention to language, and a willingness to take formal and linguistic risks in form, language, and subject. She has also published two art monographs, One Long Black Sentence (2020), indexed by Fred Moten, and Prose Architectures (2017). A graduate of Vassar College and New College of California, as well as the recipient of fellowships, grants, and residencies from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2015) and the Lannan Foundation (2017), among other institutions, Gladman makes her home in New England.
First, I blinked, then I sat and stared for a very long time. Where was my body? I needed to engage it in an ecstatic dance. I found it. I danced. With music, everywhere in the house. It is electrifying to receive this level of support from one of the most prestigious institutions in the world and an honor to be among this brilliant group of international writers—many of us are of color, many of us are women. I can think of little that is more 'yes' and 'onward' than this gift!RENEE GLADMAN