About the Book:
David Rawson’s A Jellyfish for Every Name beautifully blends the quotidian with the mythic to create a collection of linked short stories that connect our everyday selves to the sublime. Masterfully written, and even more masterfully conceived, this is a must-read. -Sarah Einstein, managing editor of Brevity
Beneath the blanket of beautifully crafted sentences of A Jellyfish for Every Name, David Rawson has constructed an intricate framework of symbolism and science in which young Moses Friedman’s longing for knowledge and human connection is palpable from story one. “The ocean is not a womb. The mouth is not an ocean. The mouth is not a womb,” becomes a mantra for ordering the world, the body, intimacy. The collection culminates in a cerebral masterpiece, the images of which will haunt the reader perhaps forever. -Megan Hudgins, author of Crixa
David Rawson is an incantatory young writer whose stories are more like summons, bent radio signals from the old weird America to the new. His most recent chapbook—A Jellyfish for Every Name—stirs up what’s left of America’s sad magic, and it shakes the reader, as if to say: together, we can still make it to the Moon. -Joel E. R. Smith, author of The Parish and fiction editor with Spork Press
David Rawson writes fractured stories and fractured lives – and from the fissures and breaks like a different kind of light. It’s sad and it’s beautiful and it’s a voice I’ve never quite heard before.” Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies
Cover art: “Alcyon” by Sylvia Garland
Special thanks to the journals where some of these stories were originally published.
Monkeybicycle: “Touch Me”
Spork: “Taking Home the Queen”
Bound Off: “Whatever You Like”
The Monarch Review: “Alligator Wine”
Special thanks to the following people, who have had a great influence on my writing and whom I am proud to know: Stacey Lynn Brown, Allison Funk, Eileen Joy, Adrian Matejka, Geoff Schmidt, and Valerie Vogrin.
About A Jellyfish for Every Name:
David Rawson’s A Jellyfish for Every Name is a collection of short stories that almost connect to each other, sharing characters and images that resonate throughout. The characters in these stories are also attempting to connect (through family, relationships, religion, science, and history) but are failing.
Two women communicating through an alligator puppet, a man’s ex girlfriends dying on their way to buy Alfred Hitchcock memorabilia after he introduced them to his movies, a son reading his father’s field guide to North American flowers alone in an attic, a mother taking her son to a circus neither wants to go to, God sleeping inside the body of Moses on the moon — this is a world where people are haunted by the past and by the permanent mark one person leaves on another.
Learn more about David here.
What People are Saying:
Short and sweet; I love these little books that you can read in an hour. David Rawson truly delivers in A Jellyfish for Every Name, too, with a couple of stories that follow one of his recurring characters, Moses, through incidents in his childhood and adolescence. The writing style here is highly cerebral, giving beautiful, if haunting, views inside the spacious and observant minds of these characters as they often struggle not to appear to be struggling. Thoreau wouldn’t have known how to handle these highly affective short stories. Closing with an intense tale that packs celestial beings and thousands of years into a 13-page space alongside an awkward childhood crush at a spelling bee, this brief book is a must-have for lovers of subtle narrative and complex characters. I anticipate we’ll be seeing a lot more of some of these characters in Rawson’s future writings, and I can’t wait. ~ pa doty