photo by Kevin Hatt

photo by Kevin Hatt


Amy Fusselman’s new book, Idiophone, will be released from Coffee House Press in July.

Early praise for IDIOPHONE:

“One of Fusselman’s great talents has always been the construction of juxtapositions and equivalencies, and in this book, she doesn’t disappoint: a mother is a small iridescent paper circle, an EMT is a baby bunny, alcoholism and maternal ambivalence take their places next to stacks of pancakes and a fourteen-foot-tall sculpture from Vanuatu. In outrageously simple, inexplicably tender prose, Fusselman presses on her nouns until they break, and then, after denotation is no longer their most important job, they perform quite a bit of unexpected and marvelous work. This book is going to haunt me.” —Sarah Manguso

“I’m hesitant to offer too much detail about this marvelous, necessary essay because a major part of Idiophone’s glory lies within its many surprises. What a joy to never quite know where the next page—the next line even—will take you! Yet, since all the book’s curvy beelines of thought spring from the deft hand of a fantastic stylist, Idiophone also showcases a palpable and idiosyncratic control. Reader, make yourself ready for a love letter to motherhood, for an examination of the limits of performance, and for a battle cry to experimental voices—all of it powered writing that pirouettes to its own fabulous music.” —Elena Passarello, author and Nutcracker enthusiast

“This book, about ballet and beauty, philosophy and family, reinforces Amy Fusselman’s status as one of our best interrogators of how we live now, and how we should live. As always, Fusselman asks tough questions and answers them with rare lyricism and candor.” —Dave Eggers

“Fusselman’s prose has the delicate, tensile musculature of a ballet dancer, and the best thing you can do for yourself is surrender to it, let Fusselman take you where she wants to go, and then allow yourself to spring off the platform she has provided.” —Nylon

You can pre-order it here.


Amy Fusselman is a writer, artist, and publisher based in New York City. She is the author of three books of nonfiction: Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted and Afraid to Die (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015); The Pharmacist’s Mate (McSweeney’s, 2013); and 8 (McSweeney’s, 2013).

Her writing has appeared in ARTnewsMs., The New York Times, Artnet, The Believer, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The Atlantic, among other places.

Savage Park was excerpted in The Atlantic. Print reviews included the cover story of the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. Slate also said that Savage Park had one of the “Best Lines of 2015.” and The Believer named it one of their favorite books of 2015. Pank magazine said “Savage Park wraps us in wonder…Amy Fusselman writes with grace and precision that beckons us to ask ourselves, just how will I live my life?”

After its publication by McSweeney’s in hardcover in 2001, The Pharmacist’s Mate was published in paperback by Penguin, and translated into Dutch and French. The Pharmacist’s Mate and 8 were re-released in a single volume from McSweeney’s in 2013. An Italian edition of both books, translated by Leonardo Taiuti, was published by Edizioni Black Coffee in 2017. 8 was recently featured on the Los Angeles Review of Books radio hour.

Fusselman is the publisher at Ohio Edit, a digital art and literary journal that offers 99-cent downloadable essays  on thought-provoking topics. The first two essays in the series are Winnicott and Music by Nicholas Spice and Comedy and Agency by David Robbins. Ohio Edit’s first venture into paper books, Jon-Michael Frank’s fantastically bitter How’s Everything Going? Not Good was distributed by SPD and sold out its print run .

She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Selected Interviews:

The Rumpus
Late Night Library

Some featured writing and artist interviews:

On the Parental Gaze,” The Believer
Family Practice” a parenting column on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
Cats” a poem on Word Riot
An Interview with Anastasia Higginbotham, The Believer
Let Me Tell You About the Fistfight I Got Into Last Night,” Empty Mirror
The Feeler,” a review of Matt Mullican’s performance at The Kitchen on Ohio Edit
Inside Picasso’s Head,” a feature about performing in an artwork by Maurizio Cattelan,
On Marie Kondo and Children and Play,” Medium

Selected earlier projects:

Surgery of Modern Warfare [Editor, Contributor] a literary web site, 2001-2004
Bunnyrabbit, [Writer, Editor, Illustrator] a ‘zine, distributed internationally by Tower Books/Records, 1990s, 8 issues

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