Unbound Edition Press today announced it will publish Colin Hamilton’s third book, The Discarded, a collection of short fiction scheduled for release in 2023. Hamilton has previously published a novel, The Thirteenth Month (2019), and a poetry chapbook, The Memory Palace (1998), both earning notable reviews.
Of Hamilton’s novel, DeWitt Henry wrote in Ploughshares: “This is a sophisticated hybrid of Borgesian imagination and heart-broken, yet dry-eyed memoir…. He writes with admirable grace, clarity, and appetite…”.
A similarly masterful approach to metafiction defines The Discarded, a set of complementary stories in which a solitary librarian is assigned to the discard room, a basement storage space piled with books that have been purged from the main collection.
From this literary refuse, the librarian begins to salvage his own idiosyncratic collection, which includes: a detective novel in which a damsel-in-distress insists she has been murdered; A Guide to Universal Grasping, the “Ulysses of technical manuals;” a graphic novel about an illusionist who cannot stop disappearing; a biography of David Markson written in the fragmented style of his late, experimental novels; an anthology of anthro-reptilian eroticism; a children’s book memorializing winter to those who will be raised in an overheated world; the poetic memoirs of an evolution skeptic who sailed with Darwin; a book of essays, The Hell of Insects, by entomologists who have been spoken to by their subjects; and a history of book burning.
“I once worked in a library, and although I loved wandering the aisles of fiction and history, over time I realized that my favorite escape was into the basement discard room,” Hamilton said. “Generally it was easy to understand why these books had been yanked. Every once in a while, though, I would discover something totally surprising, some unexpected flower among all the weeds.”
“The Discarded is a tribute to those books that are surely flawed, that never found their readers, that may be embarrassing to be seen with or even to touch, but which also have a little bit of magic to them,” he said.
Patrick Davis, publisher and editor in chief at Unbound Edition Press, said: “Each open submission period brings us so many remarkable manuscripts to consider, and Colin Hamilton’s stood out among all of them. We knew it was perfect for our press. A book about books not finding their readers – until the very moment of actively reading these stories – provides everything we might hope for from great metafiction.”
Colin Hamilton has helped create libraries, artist housing projects, parks, and a center for dance. In addition to his previous books, his work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Iowa Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Seneca Review, The Missouri Review, Artful Dodge, Gulf Coast, and Speculative Nonfiction. He lives in St. Paul, MN. Visit www.colinhamiltonwriter.com to learn more about his work.