The Spiral of Words
book three of the striped tunic trilogy
ISBN 978-1-949966-38-1 250 pages $16.00
"Calixto, sees himself as “a conflicted writer and a walker in a dangerous
void.” Armenteros references Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector whose works
explored the concepts of mystery, illusion, and reality and existing intuitively
in a void, an overriding theme of The Spiral of Words. The writer seeks an-
swers searching for the right words. Herein lies the spiral."
reviewed by Karen Herzeg in ABR
The Spiral of Words, by Jorge Armenteros, is not just highly compelling as narrative and convincing as exploration of literary form, it is also beautifully written, with sentence after sharp sentence sculpting a whole brimming with surprising meaning and meaningful insight. As I have been with past work by Armenteros, I was taken by this novel’s calm, elegant cadences, but also by its willingness to challenge, unsettle and provoke. As Armenteros writes in one of The Spiral of Words’ many fine passages, “That is the danger; a book may be bolder than yourself and reveal what you refuse to accept.” I strongly encourage you to experience this bold, revelatory work for yourself.
Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and In the House in the Dark of the Woods
Armenteros’ richly imagistic The Spiral of Words is a writer’s odyssey, is a book with the blood of Borges in its wanderers’ rivers, is a book with worlds of myth and magical realism hovering. It seeks beginnings, invokes the inner-driven walker, ravenous for words, invokes the collective shadow, the collective lost, the collective seeker, the oceans, the wind...all chasing miracles of chance. And a reeking stalker in a striped tunic, a soul of longing and confession ... is existentially near. The unknown pulls the reader like a determined undertow. The Spiral of Words is a truly brave literary accomplishment.
Margo Berdeshevsky, author of Beautiful Soon Enough and Before the Drought
In the experimental traditions of Cortázar and Borges, Armenteros leads the reader through a multitude of paths that wind both around and into each other, creating for the reader the ‘spiral of words’ of the title. At the center of the spiral lies the mysterious and omniscient striped tunic, a character whose strange and ethereal presence permeates the very fabric of the novel’s existential complexities. Equal parts metafictional mystery and meditation on the artistic process, The Spiral of Words is that rare dream that is as disturbing as it is hypnotic.
Laurie Foos, author of Ex Utero and The Blue Girl
Jorge Armenteros was born in Cuba, his family leaving for Madrid, Spain, then Tampa, Florida, before finally settling in Puerto Rico. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University, he acquired an MD at the University of Puerto Rico, an MA in Spanish and Latin American Literature at New York University, and an MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Armenteros is the author of the 2015 International Latino Book Award winner The Book of I (Jaded Ibis Press), and the first two books of the Striped Tunic Trilogy: Air and The Roar of the River (Spuyten Duyvil Press). Armenteros resides in the South of France.