Check back for updates & pre-order info, but for now—here’s what the book’s about:
In L.J. Sysko’s witty debut, THE DAUGHTER OF MAN traces the archetypal Heroine through America’s suburban battleground from the 1980s to today. The Maiden grows up into Warrior, Queen, and Crone—with a new, penultimate stage written in: The Maven. Mindful of laughable gaps in the extant Heroine’s Journey, Sysko harnesses those limitations to ironic effect, serving up pitiless social commentary, humorous self-critique, and a bold reframing of the monomythic cycle. A virtuosic and diverse array of poetic modes lend voice to an eccentric cast of mothers and monsters: Betsy Ross and Molly Pitcher as sex workers, Dolly Parton as raptor, and Penelope preferring the “belly of the whale” to Odysseus’ road trip repartee, to name a few. Just as René Magritte’s “The Son of Man” rendered the artist wearing a basic gray suit and bowler hat, Sysko’s art springs from a self-conscious middle ground—middle-class, mid-Atlantic, and mid-life. THE DAUGHTER OF MAN’s painterly poems—nudes, animals, histories, and landscapes—replace Magritte’s green apple with misogyny’s pink gum, bubbling-to-burst with sex, death, love, nostalgia, and a new legend.