• not-blessed_front

Harold Abramowitz

Harold Abramowitz is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. His other books include (!x==[33]) Book 1, Volume 1 by UNFO (collaboration with Dan Richert, Blanc Press, 2011) and Dear Dearly Departed (Palm Press, 2008). Harold...

Not Blessed

Harold Abramowitz

Introduction by Teresa Carmody
Cover art by VD Collective
Book 3 of 5, TrenchArt Maneuvers Series
Fiction | $15.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-13-4
Size: 9.25 X 4.25
Pages: 86
Binding: Softcover, Perfect


In Not Blessed, a story is told not once, but twenty-eight times in twenty-eight shifting versions. Here, a story acts as a chosen narrative constraint, a constraint which, once chosen, becomes a compulsion within the text, a landing point the narrator must reach again and again. Not Blessed: a brilliant twist of a tale, where narrative is spun like politics in the nightly news, deployed in a language that delights and distorts as it winds toward the trauma of non-truth and multiple non-originals. Not Blessed asks: what is the what that makes who?

Praise for Not Blessed

“Set in a frightening and indeterminate present, this bitter and masterful parable demonstrates the somnambulant power of language. The recurrent memory track studded with Euro pre-modernist signifiers (grandmother – village – boy – policeman – prominent figure – meadow – field) moves incrementally backwards towards no particular end. Channeling the early plays of Peter Handke, Abramowitz draws us into the narrator’s suspect nostalgia: In the southern part of the country when the space was open, and when there were still people to share things with … “

—Chris Kraus

“Runic, rhythmic, algorithmic, Not Blessed mesmerizes with a hidden logic. Through a series of finely calibrated repetitions, Abramowitz nimbly looses the old moorings—beginning, middle and end—setting us adrift on the sea of memory.”

—Janet Sarbanes

“But even more interesting, more mysterious — and certainly constructing a delicate and beautiful linguistic hermitage — are each chapter’s introductory flourishes of direct address.”

—Eugene Lim, Reading Diary Read full report

“Such repetition picks up speed at points, and there is the teasing hint of breakthrough, rupture, represented in another repeating tale, a fragment of a story about a hunter who, returning to his family’s home, strides straight through the living room’s picture window.”

— decomP: a literary magazine

“The best writers tell the same story over and over again. In his new book, Harold Abramowitz takes this idea to an extreme. Not Blessed consists of 28 chapters, each between two and three pages in length. Each chapter in this slim volume tells the same story: A boy wanders from his grandmother’s house, gets lost in the woods, and is rescued by a policeman.”

— NewPages

“We all recognize fiction, even against our will, as a firmly resolving plan of action. Yes, satisfaction exists in such resolve, but that resolve is a fabrication. Not Blessed adds to the literature that questions that determined resolve. It faces the narrator’s testimony with inquisitiveness rather than blind faith. For that, and for other marvels, I give it thumbs up.”

— Galatea Resurrects

Not Blessed calls for the reader’s awareness of their phenomenological perceptions. It seems to ask, how it is that we narrativize when we encounter stories, texts, myths? How do these stories affect us not only as readers, but as human beings with brains, brains that do not sit and simply process data but organic entities that may be altered profoundly even after what seems an insignificant encounter in the woods.”

— Octopus 14

Nikhil Bilwakesh’s review on Jacket2

Featured as a SPD Staff Pick of 2012

A reading from and discussion of Not Blessed by Valeveil Magazine