Mira Corpora

Mira Corpora

3.95 (755 ratings by Goodreads)
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* One of the Best Books of 2013. --Slate, Salon, Flavorwire, Largehearted Boy, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor
Mira Corpora is the debut novel from acclaimed playwright Jeff Jackson, an inspired, dreamlike adventure by a distinctive new talent.

Literary and inventive, but also fast-paced and gripping, Mira Corpora charts the journey of a young runaway. A coming-of-age story for people who hate coming-of-age stories, featuring a colony of outcast children, teenage oracles, amusement parks haunted by gibbons, mysterious cassette tapes, and a reclusive underground rockstar.

With astounding precision, Jackson weaves a moving tale of discovery and self-preservation across a startling, vibrant landscape.

To read Jeff Jackson's Mira Corpora is to enter into a trance state. A hypnotic, brutal, and lyric exploration of youth, trauma and the construction of memory, this novel is like nothing I've ever read before and is, unquestionably, one of my favorite books published this year. --Laura van den Berg, Salon
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Product details

  • Paperback | 182 pages
  • 137 x 188 x 13mm | 227g
  • English
  • 1937512134
  • 9781937512132
  • 611,027

Review quote

* One of the Best Books of 2013. --Slate, Salon, Flavorwire, Largehearted Boy, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor

To read Jeff Jackson's Mira Corpora is to enter into a trance state. A hypnotic, brutal, and lyric exploration of youth, trauma and the construction of memory, this novel is like nothing I've ever read before and is, unquestionably, one of my favorite books published this year.
--Laura van den Berg, Salon

Skilfully told in clear yet somehow utterly disorientating prose.
--NewStatesman, Books of the Year: favorite reading of 2014

In Mira Corpora, Jeff Jackson's remarkable nightmarish fugue of a novel, the novel itself becomes the exemplification of the writer's routine. The novel feels like the beating of a heart, the body of a fledgling waiting to be born. The more you read the more the heart races.

I was ensnared by [Mira Corpora's] strange beauty.
--Electric Literature

The autobiographical novel has taken many twists in recent years, but few writers have managed the feat with the vision and audacity of Jeff Jackson. The novel is a strange, quixotic beast--constantly raw, shape-shifting and rooted in the origins of tribal ritual. Mira Corpora is an incandescent wonder... Jackson structures the novel around a collection of surreal, teenage journals that explore the subterranean territory of the self. Whether these origins arise from real artefact or a fictional device is irrelevant in the skill of the author's hands... Mira Corpora is an incandescent wonder."
--Darragh McKeon

A piercing howl of a book. Slyly seductive and utterly gripping--[Jackson's] prose practically crackles and sparks. This punk coming-of-age story smolders long after the book is through.

Episodic yet suspenseful, smeared with gutter detritus yet glittering with right-on apercus, the novel delivers both jolts to the spine and food for thought.

[Mira Corpora] reads like an incantation--more like a hex--and to put it down is to break the spell.
--Trop Magazine

Mira Corpora is a bildungsroman perhaps made most moving by this fact: that the book bears not the trace of an absent chess-master moving markers of sexual obsession in preformatted patterns, but rather the fumbling hand of enchanter attempting to divine the nature of his spell-in-progress, caught at a moment of pseudo-sexual ecstasy, between either self-release or self-annihilation.
--The Brooklyn Rail

Provocative, dreamlike, and just a bit meta, Mira Corpora is an impressive debut. It reads like a bullet, a slow motion bullet time bullet, viewable from multiple angles, like in The Matrix.

I'd characterize Mira Corpora as a seduction. It heightens the pulse and warps the mind with the allure and cliffhangers of a sexy action flick.
--Full Stop

There are few coming-of-age-esque novels that don't make me feel like I'm being lied to, manipulated into caring to the point where I can't care at all. Mira Corpora is one of those few. It subverts itself and what it came from so many times that by the end you feel like it could have existed no other way.

Mira Corpora is a masterfully written debut, an often brutal coming of age tale as unsettling as it is brilliant.
--Largehearted Boy

Style is pre-eminent in Jeff Jackson's eerie and enigmatic debut. The prose works like the expressionless masks worn by killers in horror films.
--Wall Street Journal

What's most compelling--and terrifying... is the originality and execution. [Mira Corpora] has a very cinematic quality to it, like the dreamscapes of a Lynch, or, better, a strange, filmic mash-up of Lord of the Flies, Demian, and House of Leaves, as directed by Harmony Korine. Jackson really captures that quintessential dreamlike quality of Korine's films in his presentation of unfamiliar versions of familiar settings. This creates a powerful, frightening effect.

--Eimear McBride (author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing) in TimeOut NY

Jackson's ability to evoke the growing perceptions and shifting vantage of his narrator makes the episodic quality of Mira Corpora work especially well.
--Vol. 1 Brooklyn

[A] mesmerizing debut, which reads like some cross between Bruno Schulz and the backstories of random characters from Penelope Spheeris' 1984 film Suburbia. It's the overarching sensibility that also puts Mira Corpora in a unique group of books that can only be dubbed Punk Lit.

Jeff Jackson's surreal, wrenching debut novel Mira Corpora is a book we suspect you'll hear a lot about in the coming months.
--Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Jackson's prose captures a dreamlike tone that gives the reader the experience of walking into an abandoned house of mirrors where every pane of glass is as clouded over and obscuring and oddly beautiful as the next.

A gutter punk Catcher in the Rye.
--Shelf Awareness

Best new books of fall 2013.
--Time Out Chicago

A ripping yarn. Jackson's short, visceral sentences fuel the novel's page-turning momentum. But a hallucinatory quality permeates events throughout. Paintings take on extra dimensions; music has talismanic powers; the city is as feral as the forest. In the meta-fiction tradition of Thomas Pynchon or Stephen Wright, Jackson's story questions our assumptions and demands our participation. Here, a novelist's mysterious pigments make for a non-idealized--and far more participatory and compelling--take on the coming-of-age tale.
--Creative Loafing

This is superb. Jackson is a great storyteller, and this one offers a strange combination of grittiness and poetry that I'm really digging.

Brilliant work... This book is both brutal and beautiful and it brings something approaching resolution, if not redemption.
--City Paper (Baltimore)

Jackson's voice is gripping. It's refreshing to see an author craft a novel according to his own vision.
--The Rumpus

The plot line sounds familiar, but Jackson's handling of it subverts that familiarity and puts it to unique, unsettling purposes.
--Heavy Feather Review

An often sordid and savage phantasmagoria [that] blurs the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, creating an unsettling allegory of growth into adulthood.
--Publishers Weekly

Wow... a revelation... This reminds me of the excellent quote by Paul Eluard that opens the novella: "There is another world, but it is in this one." And, indeed, another world does seem to open up within this one as you proceed through Mira Corpora's riveting yet fractured pages.

It's fine work in its manic pacing and its summoning of certain cultural emblems. Present tense with a vengeance. I hope the book finds the serious readers who are out there waiting for this kind of fiction to hit them in the face.
--Don DeLillo
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About Jeff Jackson

Jeff Jackson is a novelist, playwright, visual artist, and songwriter. His second novel Destroy All Monsters was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in Fall 2018. It received advanced praise from Don DeLillo, Janet Fitch, Dana Spiotta, Ben Marcus, and Dennis Cooper. His novella Novi Sad was published as a limited edition art book and selected for "Best of 2016" lists in Vice, Lit Reactor, and Entropy. His first novel Mira Corpora, published in 2013, was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and featured on numerous Best of the Year lists, including Slate, Salon, The New Statesman, and Flavorwire. His short fiction has appeared in Guernica, Vice, New York Tyrant, and The Collagist and been performed in New York and Los Angeles by New River Dramatists.

As a playwright, six of his plays have been produced by the Obie Award-winning Collapsable Giraffe company in New York City. Vine of the Dead: 11 Ritual Gestures debuted in 2016 at the Westbeth Arts Center. Dream of the Red Chamber: Performance for a Sleeping Audience, an adaptation of the epic Chinese novel, debuted in Times Square in 2014 to rave reviews. Botanica was selected by the New York Times as one of 2012's most galvanizing theater moments.

He holds an M.F.A. from NYU and is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Hambidge Center.
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Rating details

755 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 33% (251)
4 38% (289)
3 21% (161)
2 5% (35)
1 3% (19)
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