How can we re-write American identity? In this daring second edition of his celebrated cross-genre A and B and Also Nothing, Chris Campanioni reads and recasts his own life through the works of Henry James and Gertrude Stein. He does so with an amalgam of annotations, observations, aphorisms, and asides, dissolving the boundaries between journal and novel, autobiography and fiction. Then, he goes further, imagining several other books inside this one, including an exploration of the ways in which migrant illegality has been fabricated and shaped since — and how this informs a critical evaluation of technology's role in capturing and containing bodies in life and text. It is the interplay of the real, the not real, and the not yet real that propels A and B and Also Nothing toward a fresh blueprint for American identity — all captured through a notebook poetics that centers copying, collection, and recollection as primary creative acts. A and B and Also Nothing — now with a new coda and photographs by the author — is a call and response to the avant-garde, an attendance to the community of BIPOC writers who have often been overlooked despite their meaningful influence on American culture. In Campanioni's fluid, lyrical sequences, the vital roles of migration, dislocation, and exile in America's literary and intellectual genealogy get restored.
Chris Campanioni was born in Manhattan in 1985 and grew up in New Jersey. He is the author of the celebrated cross-genre work, A and B and Also Nothing, the second edition of which is forthcoming from Unbound Edition Press.
His research connecting media studies with studies of migration has been awarded a Mellon Foundation fellowship and the Calder Prize and his writing has received the International Latino Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Academy of American Poets College Prize. He lives in Brooklyn.
"… a brilliant manifesto-aria on what it means to attend, to concentrate, to listen, to resist, and to reckon. Imaginatively jamming together James's The American and Stein's The Making of Americans, Campanioni reshuffles nationality, borders, and genealogy." - Wayne Koestenbaum
"… transforms and provokes American history and its relationship to our present moment of cultural upheaval." - Ruben Quesada
"… a writer without limits, as inexhaustibly experimental." - Miciah Hussey
"Besides being a nonfiction bestseller, A and B and Also Nothing is also a literary critique, an exploration of rhetoric, and a rich and intimate personal narrative." - Davon Loeb
"… an abundance of intertextual commentary, an almost Pac-Man consumption of theory and literature." - Christopher Linforth