THE BOOK: We Take Me Apart
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
THE AUTHOR: Molly Gaudry.
THE EDITOR: J.A. Tyler
THE PUBLISHER: Mud Luscious Press (2010 edition); Ampersand Books (current publisher).
SUMMARY: We Take Me Apart is a mother/daughter story, a (failed) love story, an attempt to better understand the allure of fairy tales.
THE BACK STORY: The title came first, on a long drive from Chicago to Philadelphia. All my belongings were packed in my car and once I got to Philly I moved into a room for rent and began writing. Evenings, I taught Pre-GED and GED courses in a halfway house for post-incarcerated men and women. After, I bought coffee on my way home and then wrote until 6am, 7am, 8am, sometimes until noon. I slept, and then I went to work. On repeat. When I had ten pages of a half poem, half story, I queried J.A. Tyler at Mud Luscious. At the time, he was publishing 1,000-word chapbooks. My poem/story exceeded the word count but I asked if he might consider it anyway. While he was considering, I blogged about thinking it might be a longer project. When he responded, he asked if I really thought it could become a full-length book. I said yes, and a book deal was born. It would be Mud Luscious’s first book, and it launched the “novel(la)” series.
WHY THIS TITLE? I’m not sure exactly why this title, but the words came to me on that long drive. I kept repeating them in my head: we take me apart, we take me apart. It stuck with me, this vague idea about love and how it undoes a person, how we undo ourselves, how we can be complicit in our own happiness or destruction. These many years later, I still love this title.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Because we all need a little more love in our lives, and if not love then why not heartbreak?
“There is no more perfect place to be than in Molly Gaudry’s tender, dirt-floored novella, We Take Me Apart. Oh cabbage leaves, oh roses, oh orange-slice childhood grins: this book broke my heart. Its sad memory-tropes come from fairy tales and childhood books. With language, Gaudry is as loving and careful as one is with a matchbook . . . when wishing to set the whole world on fire.” —Kate Bernheimer
“A Molly Gaudry word is so precise, it feels like a sentence.” —Great Twin Cities Poetry Read & Road Show
“An epic poem of epic mastery, We Take Me Apart centers on a girl who grows into a woman who grows into a heroine.” —Prick of the Spindle
AUTHOR PROFILE: I am currently completing my PhD at the University of Utah, where I have finished the sequel to We Take Me Apart, another verse novel titled Desire: A Haunting, which releases this year from Ampersand Books. I wish I could say more here, but I’m at a crossroads. For the last month I’ve been selling clothes online, and I’ve made more money doing this than I have for all my writing put together over the past decade. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I took a wrong turn somewhere. Not that it matters—it really is too late to turn back.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “When I wrote WTMA, I was interested in the interplay between story and poetry, between literary fiction and fairy tale. I’m still very much interested in blending so-called literary forms with genre fiction, and although Desire is both a reworking of The Scarlet Letter and a ghost story, my current focus is on romance—particularly the history of the chivalric romance and the rise of the novel. Grappling as I am, in my PhD program, with the declaration: ‘I am studying the romance, the novel, and the romance novel,’ I know that if not for the success of WTMA, which happened before my MFA and long before the PhD, I might not have the courage to forge forward.”
I had never seen snow but I had heard
imagined great pillows of it
warm as a tongue
imagine my surprise when on our journey from Mother’s home to yours you took me on a boat from which we looked for whales
the only boat I had ever touched was paper
folded by Mother’s hands
two twigs tucked in as representations of her
you were furious with our captain but I was delighted
the great cut-shaped mounds were wondrous as anything I had ever seen
chunks like chocolate
I could have eaten them
I was so happy
happier still when the waves pounded all sides of the boat and below deck the crash of our bodies woke us
happiest when at last we disembarked
it was raining
it was light
it was fresh
when I remember you that is what I remember
it was raining
it was light
it was fresh
it was fall
it was wet red leaves stuck in clumps to the bottoms of my canvas sneakers
your rubber galoshes
we shared a menthol cigarette from the freezer
walked hand in hand to the corner store for butter for pancakes beneath a bright yellow umbrella the morning after our midnight arrival to your home
you took me in your arms and said WELCOME HOME and it was all of it delicious
we were open mouths on mouths
hands on inner thighs
fingers spreading toward action
fingers spreading like rhubarb in the garden
we were on the porch attached to the kitchen and I turned my head into the night and saw the rhubarb poking through the soil and I felt like the soil and your tongue felt like the rhubarb and your tongue felt like the so-slow melting or shaving of the ice on the mountain and its edges broke into song and snow that settled as a soil blanket tucked wet and warm and it was only your tongue between us then and in my throat I felt we were two lakes meeting for the first time at the open mouth of a river and you were no longer stern and unfamiliar but consuming and radiant and I felt consumed and I felt radiant
beneath our bodies
a loose plank that sounded like the click of two spoons in a creaky drawer sliding open
I felt beneath you like you were the drawer and I was the spoon
I felt beneath you like you were a spoon and I was an egg
ready to hatch
WHERE TO BUY IT: https://www.amazon.com/We-Take-Apart-Molly-Gaudry/dp/0988732882
PRICE: $16.00 CONTACT THE AUTHOR: http://www.mollygaudry.com/contact/