Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Submissions for the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize are Now Open! Learn more and submit here.

Book Title

The Box

Subtitle
A Novel
Author 1
Mandy-Suzanne Wong
Body
Of course, each thing has its own sides to every story.
 
In a dark and crooked lane in an unnamed city where it never ceases to snow, a small white box falls from a coat pocket. It is made of paper strips woven tightly together; there is no apparent way to open it without destroying it. What compels a passing witness, a self-described anthrophobe not inclined to engage with other people, to pick up the box and chase after the stranger who dropped it?

The Box follows an impenetrable rectangle as it changes hands in a collapsing metropolis, causing confluences, conflicts, rifts, and disasters. Different narrators, each with a distinctive voice, give secondhand accounts of decisive moments in the box’s life. From the anthrophobe to a newly hired curator of a renowned art collection, from a couple who own an antiquarian bookshop to a hotel bartender hiding from a terrible past, the storytellers repeat rumors and rely on faulty memories, grasping at something that continually escapes them. Haunting their recollections is one mysterious woman who, convinced of the box’s good or evil powers, pursues it with deadly desperation.  
 
In this mesmerizing, intricately constructed puzzle of a novel, Mandy-Suzanne Wong challenges our understanding of subjects and objects, of cause and effect. Is it only humans who have agency? What is or isn’t animate? What do we value and what do we discard? 

 

Share Title

List Price
$17.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-64445-249-3
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
264
Trim Size
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
Keynote
A stylistically dazzling novel about objects, people, and the forces and seams between them.

About the Author

Mandy-Suzanne  Wong
Credit: Heather Kettenis
Mandy-Suzanne Wong is a Bermudian writer of fiction and essays. Her works include the novel Drafts of a Suicide Note, a PEN Open Book Award nominee; the essay collection Listen, we all bleed, a nominee for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction; the chapbooks Awabi and Artificial Wilderness; and the exhibition catalogue Animals Across Discipline, Time, and Space. Her work appears in Arcturus, Black Warrior ReviewCosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Island Review, Necessary Fiction, Quail Bell, Stoneboat, and The Spectacle and has won recognition in the Best of the Net, Aeon Award, and Eyelands Flash Fiction competitions.
 
More by author

Praise

  • "Wong’s inventive latest is a feast of knotty sentences. A physical and metaphorical box, small enough to fit into a pocket, travels through multiple locations as a series of narrators share observations and philosophical tidbits... Fans of experimental fiction ought to check this out."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Wong delivers something rare, evoking a creepy sort of glamour around books and stories, as if craving a good read is itself sometimes a form of dark desire."—Kirkus

  • “Mandy-Suzanne Wong’s novel traces the movement of a mysterious white box made of woven paper, which can’t be opened without destroying it. The elegant mysteries only expand from there.”—Maggie Lange, Bustle
Back to Table of Contents