by Janice Lee

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KEROTAKIS is Janice Lee’s postmodern exploration of consciousness, form and narrative, as it follows the journey of G.I.L.L. A contemporary reimagining of Frankenstein that takes us forwards, backwards and sideways through time and space, this is a cutting-edge novel for the multimedia age.

Visit the author’s website here or check out the press release here. Students and teachers can also read the author’s sample study questions here.

Acclaim for this Novel

‘The “corpus hermeticum,” in Janice Lee’s stunning collection, is the color of the blood it contains. As the body that “paints” and “listens”, it “glitters” with “pigment”: it bursts into flower and it crouches down on all fours to put its mouth to the ground. On a continuum from primitive to synthetic, the figures in KEROTAKIS “is[are] something which it is like to be a human being.” Questions of nest, shelter, and milk arise; questions about a mineral composition arise. Like “waves.” There’s an extreme wetness in this book, brought into relief by the “desert”— its feral architecture and peripheries. Reading Lee’s beautiful first book, I was incredibly moved by the vulnerability of the bodies that appear in her work, and the way these bodies make intensive marks upon landscapes that almost immediately disappear. With enormous tenderness and craft—(this writer is a design genius in a way that extends to the wiring of the lines themselves)—Lee asks her readers: What erodes an originating point? Why do people disappear? What brings a body back to the optic and sensate domains, where it thrives, where it has a love, where it had a mother? I am not sure that this book answers these question, but it repeats them until the reader’s blood rises in response. Until the reader, alchemically, becomes—also—”red.”‘
—Bhanu Kapil, Author of Incubation: A Space For Monsters and A Vertical Interrogation of Strangers

‘If Frankenstein’s monster was not taken for granted, or was taken as the a priori product of our current mind, it would be named G.I.L.L., and made by Janice Lee. Lee’s is our neurological nightmare and native hope: the act of consciousness grasping towards itself, which is the original act of writing itself.’
—Vanessa Place, Co-Director of Les Figues Press & Author of Dies: A Sentence and La Medusa

‘Kērotakis, by Janice Lee, is a strange and uncanny fissioning operant on exponential levels. It animates through alchemical repartee, elements, which flare across the text, tuning themselves, line by line, phrase by phrase, into an energy of flammable gold. Its movement on one level seems as if struck from a-symmetric abstraction, but on the greater plane, there is evidence of other colorations of consciousness, as if two mathematical constants had blended and become a new unspeakable glass of transcendence. It’s as if a verbal Sun were cooking double planes of the invisible.’
—Will Alexander, Author of Asia & Haiti and Sunrise in Armageddon

‘Beyond the graphic, philosophical, narrative and poetic splendors of Janice Lee’s dazzling generic experiment Kērotakis is a more cruel beauty and a more devastating realization—that the multifarious speculation of consciousness in manipulative exile and in heartbreaking dialogue with its origin and its future is, and always has been, consciousness itself.’
—Jon Wagner, Former Director, MFA Writing, CalArts

‘Janice Lee’s KĒROTAKIS is ultimately a puzzling narrative structured by both words and images. A central impulse in the book is to bring together many disparate elements to see where they spark in conflict and where they resonate. The crucifixion of G.I.L.L., a religious narrative, overlays and contests the man-made creation of G.I.L.L., a narrative tied to science, technology, and a rejection of the metaphysical realm.’
—Paul Lai, in Galatea Resurrects #17

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Filed in Books on April 1, 2012