A man wakes up one morning believing he has a wife who lives in Tucumcari, New Mexico. A wife he somehow remembers yet does not know. When he decides to find her, he embarks on a surreal journey through both landscape and memory. The reader travels with the narrator through sinking cities, his father's various jobs, government-designated atomic safe havens, motel rooms, cities made of only men, and interactions with people from his childhood including Boyd Delmarco, a famous radio personality whose lungs have turned to glass.
"This exquisite novel transcends prose. It is a prose-poem, an incantation, a musing on youth and age, memory and symbol, dreams and reality. Each word has been carefully selected. Whilst the style remains spare, the sentences possess a captivating, rhythmic power, which taps directly into the reader’s subconsciousness."
-Andrew Hansen, Managing Director, Prestel Publishing
"Everyone wants to get away from the falling ash of this life. Everyone wants to get away from the threat of nuclear bombs, away to some far away, imagined safe place. Rootless, fugitive, we want love, a place to call home. In Tucumcari, Patrick Parks takes us there in a novel so clearly written, so lucidly poetic, it breaks the heart."
-Richard Jones, author of The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning
“What a strange and wonderful novel Patrick Parks has written! It’s a road trip novel without an actual road trip—the narrator imagines a trip he will take to Tucumcari, NM, to find the woman he just remembered he married years ago—but except for floating above his bed at night or teaching English to immigrants in a city that rains ash, he almost never goes anywhere. But his mind goes everywhere, and it’s a bona fide delight to ride along with him on his mental road trip. Written in brief fragmentary sections that often read like prose poems, this is a narrative as delightfully disjointed and digressive as Sterne’s Tristram Shandy and as darkly comic and magical as Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.”
-David Jauss, author of Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories and Nice People: New & Selected Stories II
"Patrick Parks, in this relentlessly quantum mechanical rendition of the novel, Tucumcari, combines the traumatic rhythmic keenings of Philip Glass’s World Our of Balance or Einstein on the Beach with a deeply poignant Buster Keatonian deadpan. The book percolates and permeates through the entire electro-magnetic spectrum of mid-century modern dystopia. Tucumcari accumulates emotional heft like the sad ash that falls, layer after extinction layer, through the book, predicting red weather that is general all over the many deserts you drift through. Before you know it, you are buried alive, heartsick and sunk up to your eyeballs by this masterful precipitate of murmuring meditation."
-Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Winesburg, Indiana
"With spare language and rhythmic prose, Parks's debut illuminates the rough edges of memory with cinematic lyricism."