Water is a book you need to read and J.A. Tyler is a writer you should be embarrassed to not read.
– Heavy Feather Review
Biblical and hypnotizing, Water tells the dual-story of when the world flooded and when the world burned. Concentrating simultaneously on the apocryphal ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ who tell and retell about the loss of words as a landscape, and all the violent children who stand in a rain of hammers ripping one another open, the buzz and hum of this novel(la) is linguistically taunting and beautifully rendered.
Of Boy, of Girl, of Land, of children – Heather, Jen, Jack, John – of teachers, of Noah, of Tangleweeds, of zzzzzzzzzz, of people, of axe, of fathers, of mothers, of families, of rain, always the rain. J. A. Tyler’s Waterchokes us with these things and more. One thing becoming another, becoming another, and glimpses of how they came to be, where they are now, where they are headed; all of it with a language and rhythm that carries us along, ugly and surreal. Water envelops, nonstop, soaking.
—xTx, author of Normally Special
Like the Book of Genesis as filmed by Harmony Korine, J. A. Tyler’s Water is a necropastoral in which ‘return to nature’ comes as a dark threat. There are no havens here, only a landscape at once dead and dazzling, at once before and after, at once post-nuclear and pre-historic, in which a constant electric hum both interrupts and links events with its neutral, fatal current. As Tyler manipulates a deliberately constrained vocabulary – Boy, Girl, Land, Ocean, Woods, Axe, Egg – a minutely configured and reconfigured universe comes into view in which bodies are conducting materials for violence and rain pours down as relentlessly and ambiguously as existence itself. Tyler pursues this vision with stamina and acuity: dead-on, a dead-eye.
—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Percussion Grenade
JA TYLER has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Redivider, Cream City Review, Diagram, Fairy Tale Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and New York Tyrant and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and cited in Dzanc Books’s Best of the Web series, Wake Forest’s &Now series, Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions, and the StorySouth Million Writers Award.