The St. Lawrence Book Award Winner


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ISBN: 978-1-62557-952-2
Reviews & Media Review in ENTROPY

Nominal Cases

Publication Date: March 2016


“Cotsonas’s collection dropped me unreadily in the thick of puzzles, roaming through certain quizzing and quizzical fictions that made me feel new and disturbing things about human nature, families, and the spoils of inheritance. These stories aren’t so much steeped in the literary past as they are tangled in them, with anxieties and ecstasies of influence driving the characters to self-interrogative and sometimes dark, perilous places. Nominal Cases is an arresting, alarming debut.”

-Dave Madden, author of If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There

Like his literary antecedents-John Barth and Jorge Luis Borges both haunt these pages-Thomas Cotsonas takes (and offers) great pleasure in the revelation that the central (though often occult) subject of fiction is always inevitably fictiveness itself. But clever and self-aware as these fictions are, they are also fully alive to the cathartic power of narrative, and the potential for a well-drawn character to show us something human, true, and surprising. Nominal Cases thrills both mind and heart-a rare delight.”

-Joel Brouwer, author of And So

I’m warning you. Get out now if the exhilaration of the Literature of Exhaustion makes you do double-takes of your double-takes. Thomas Cotsonas’s fictions are stunning, stone cold doubled-down articulations of artifice in full riot. The case studies of Nominal Cases asks how does the human brain think about its thinking. Asked and answered in spades. The book reflects reflections and is always on the edge of that edge like those fighter jets designed to be supersonically unstable in the sky in order to out-maneuver gravity itself. I warned you.”

-Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Winesburg, Indiana

Thomas Cotsonas’s many voices recall us to the variants of oral tradition unspooling around us, entangling themselves in themselves, doing and undoing our tacit belief that the real isn’t just made of words, until already it’s too late, and we realize these aren’t someone else’s tales at all, but our own confessions of what we’ve always suspected: the intractable fictionality of the world, all its mundane and wondrous histories.”

-Michael Mejia, author of Forgetfulness

About the Author

Thomas Cotsonas

Thomas Cotsonas was born and raised in Rochester, New York.  His work has appeared in several journals, including Web Conjunctions, Western Humanities Review, and Puerto del Sol.  Nominal Cases, his first book of fiction, won the St. Lawrence Book Award.  He teaches in the Writers House at Rutgers University and lives with his wife in New York City.

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