Everything We Don't Know (pre-order)
Everything We Don't Know (pre-order)
by Aaron Gilbreath
Heartfelt, earnest, and humorous, the essays in Everything We Don't Know, examine the journey of growing up in contemporary America. Gilbreath contemplates the ocean-bound debris from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, his nostalgia for the demolished buildings of his youth, the origins of the word "radical," and more. A deftly-crafted debut from a wise, bold voice.
PRAISE FOR EVERYTHING WE DON'T KNOW:
"What a great read! Aaron Gilbreath has put together as fine a book of essays as you're likely to find these days. At times I felt as if I could be reading a John Jeremiah Sullivan collection. Aaron Gilbreath's strong, candid, yet insightful first-person narrative is compelling, clearly honest, and frankly, it reminded me of many things I'd prefer to forget, yet did so powerfully enough to keep me coming back for more."
─James Williamson, guitarist of Iggy and the Stooges
"I’ve been jonesing for the next great collection of personal essays, and Aaron Gilbreath’s Everything You Don't Know cures my pangs. Booze, drugs, failed relationships, poverty, knee-jerk travel, desperation, joy, music, and recovery—it’s like a primer on late twentieth/early twenty-first century American living, written with honesty, astuteness, and self-deprecation. I loved this collection."
—George Singleton, author of Calloustown
"Aaron Gilbreath’s first collection of essays, Everything We Don’t Know, is a rowdy, exuberant, obsessive and often hilarious examination of the ennui and energy of a youth spent rambling through the wild west and other meaningful landscapes. Combining a novelist’s understanding of narrative structure and pacing with the essayist’s digressive talents, Gilbreath creates a voice that embodies the best journalistic qualities of Hunter S. Thompson, Mary Karr, and Joan Didion. Gilbreath’s essays combine humorous, unsentimental, unflinching prose with rigorous research, harrowing drama, and confessional moments of deep reflection. Everything We Don’t Know is a testament to the adage that the greatest gift any writer possesses is a curious mind; and the abundant fruits of Gilbreath’s curiosity end up being the greatest gift of this book."
—Steven Church, founding editor of The Normal School and author of One with the Tiger
"Everything We Don't Know is an electric, funny, and far-reaching collection about Gilbreath’s early loves and misadventures growing up out West. Sometimes ecstatic, sometimes angst-filled, he follows where curiosity leads, anchoring himself in resiliency and feeling, intelligence and humility. The essay "It's Really Something You Should Have Examined," about his girlfriend Abby and his ferret Wiggy, highlights Gilbreath at his quirky and tender best."
—Marcia Aldrich, author of Girl Rearing and Companion to an Untold Story
"Aaron Gilbreath writes the kind of essays I'm always crossing my fingers for when I open a new collection. He grabs the threads of history, nature, pop culture, geography, and travel, and weaves a kind of wild web around the personal essay. Honest, open, deft, and able to turn a phrase like a bad ass—Gilbreath is now on my shortlist of go-to essayists."
—Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies
"Gilbreath is among that rare breed of writer with both a journalist's keen eye for observation and discovery, and a memoirist's skill for shining a light on our human foibles, mistakes and thwarted ambitions. His brilliant examinations expand and contract seamlessly between the outer world and his own inner life—from Googie architecture to the Redwood Forest to his harrowing efforts to kick heroin. Gripping, honest, and endlessly intelligent, Everything We Don't Know marks the debut of a major literary talent."
—Justin Hocking, author of The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld
"Aaron Gilbreath’s new collection of essays shatters the tenets of memoir, and leaves the shards out in the sun to stew, before putting them back together in ways more frazzled, distressed, hilarious, scarred, and thereby more human, and true. Along the way, Gilbreath’s exhilaratingly cockeyed meditations on the seemingly mundane detritus of our world—when leashed to engagements of friends, jobs, lovers, family, strange music and stranger architecture—are allowed to dovetail with (in his words), “these mythic notions [that] colonize your head.” I, for one, am grateful to have had my head colonized by these wonderful essays."
—Matthew Gavin Frank, author of The Mad Feast and Preparing the Ghost
ABOUT AARON GILBREATH:
Aaron Gilbreath is an essayist, journalist and burrito enthusiast. His essays and articles have appeared in Harper’s, New York Times, Paris Review, Vice, The Morning News, Saveur, Tin House, The Believer, Oxford American, Kenyon Review, Slate, Virginia Quarterly Review, Narratively, and Brick. His essay “\’ra-di-k?l\” from Hotel Amerika is a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013, and “Dreams of the Atomic Era,” from the Cincinnati Review, is a Notable in Best American Essays 2011. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Publication Date: November 2016