Jessica Anthony

Jessica Anthony

Portland, ME

Jessica Anthony is the author of The Convalescent (McSweeney’s/Grove) and Chopsticks (Penguin/Razorbill), a multimedia novel created in collaboration with designer Rodrigo Corral. Anthony has recently received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy, the Maine Arts Commission, and has served as “Bridge Guard,” guarding the Maria Valeria Bridge between Štúrovo, Slovakia and Esztergom, Hungary. Her next novel, Enter the Aardvark, will be published by Little, Brown in 2020.

Photo: Matt Cosby.

Enter the Aardvark

Jessica Anthony is an author based in Portland, ME.

Artist Bio

It’s early one morning on a hot day in August, and congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R-VA) is planning his first re-election campaign when he receives a FedEx delivery at his Washington townhouse. Wilson’s investigation into the contents of that delivery, a gigantic taxidermic aardvark, sets in motion a series of chaotic events, each escalating from the last, until Wilson finds himself at the mercy of America’s media machine, and in political ruin. Hurtling between present day Washington D.C. and late nineteenth century Victorian England—during which we follow Titus Downing, the taxidermist who built the aardvark, and his lover who hunted her—the aardvark becomes a totem of the power of empathy, and of a kind of love which can endure through time. Hijacking the maximalist spirit of William Gass and Thomas Pynchon, Enter the Aardvark is a ghost story, a love story, a political satire. It is an exploration of the contemporary consequence of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, pressures the ignored role of women in men’s “reincarnation,” and is a speedy, blackly comic condemnation of our current American blindness.

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