Samuel Clark manages a bookstore, thriving not on the books he sells but on the ephemera he finds therein. His true interest lies in people and their secrets. There’s Caitlin, who keeps the shop next door and is withdrawn and self-conscious due to a skin disorder. Alastair who lives under the bridge and offers unwanted advice to all who pass, but he can’t remember who he is. Sinead, a sex addict and Toby, a morbidly obese adult-child. They all believe, as people do, that there is plenty of time to solve their problems, confess their loves, and make that change. Nick Holdstock interweaves bits of this fictional version of Edinburgh – photos, letters, and charts – throughout the narrative to help explore how we see ourselves, our past, and our possible futures. An unflinching look at today’s ills, The Casualties asks the most important question: How can we be saved?
Nick Holdstock's fiction and essays have appeared in many US and UK publications, including The London Review of Books, The Southern Review, n+1, Dissent, Vice, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of The Tree That Bleeds and the forthcoming nonfiction book, China's Forgotten People. In 2012 he was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for fiction. He lives in Edinburgh.
Blood Work reveals what happens to the self when the body is compromised by illness. These poems explore the struggle to remain whole in the shadow of Crohn's disease and to make a home for oneself in the body and in the world.
Matthew Siegel's first book Blood Work won the 2015 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Standford and holds degrees from University of Houston and Binghamton University. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.