All I Want To Do Is Live personalizes common themes of survival, depression, and life in America at a time of division and upheaval. In this collection, Ramsey examines his family history and shows us how darkness can trickle through generations. He looks to people like his grandparents and his partner for hope and works to move beyond abuse and mental illness to find what is worth passing on to his children. In a unique voice of clean, deliberate prose, he relays stories about the damage of the past and recovery in the present that is both brutal and achingly pretty. As the personal often sheds light on the universal, Trace’s memories of his childhood and the scenes from his life today also give us the story of our time, our country, and a people longing to find substance, freedom, and meaning. Release date May 9, 2017.
Order All I Want to Do is Live from Pioneers Press. You can also find copies at the following stores:
- Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC
- Firestorm Books in Asheville, NC
- Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC
- The Mothership in Durham, NC
- Letters Bookshop in Durham, NC
- The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC
- Powell’s Books in Portland, OR
Miller Road – winner of the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize, forthcoming in North Carolina Literary Review
Viscera – published in concīs
Farthing Street – published in At Length Magazine
Briggs Avenue – published in Hippocampus Magazine
Pre-Order now – “Selected Memories: Five Years of Hippocampus Magazine is a celebration of where we’ve been and a testament to the power of telling true stories. Since we launched our journal in 2010, we’ve published more than 600 pieces of creative nonfiction from more than 500 emerging and established writers. We’re proud of our contributors, and we admire their bravery for sharing pieces of themselves. This collection is a representation of our first five years. It’s filled with more than 30 stories that moved us, made us laugh, made us cry, made us want to read them again.” Contains the essay Briggs Avenue.
We are given a lot in the 10th issue of Trace Ramsey’s Quitter. Beautiful design, excellent writing, ideas, story, pain, ornithology, history; this is a solid work that shows Trace at the top of his game (a game we imagine he’ll top again with the next release). Quitter Ten is about family, abuse, birds, land, genes, busted love, new love, old love. Like Scott McClanahan’s Crapalachia this is a story of American roots, of fallen family members, secrets, sickness, memory, a narrative that looks at the past from a struggling (but hopeful) present. Trace’s writing is a quiet, contemplative thing in a world (and a scene) that for both good and ill gives us a lot of flash, sex, and noise. In a sense, Trace’s work is a kind of throwback to a more restrained and gentle time. Which is not to say the ideas he tackles are either. His work can be (almost as a running theme) wholly devastating. Like a spider he can kill you with a touch. Just the same, you get the sense he doesn’t want to. There isn’t a note or strain of gratuitousness or sensationalism to his work. Everything in these pages is done with respect and class and is rendered with a deliberate, careful touch. Ten issues in, he has built up a substantial body of work.
Quitter #9 is a quiet, deep-moving river of personal history, ideas, and true things told in a way that feels right and grounded. Trace’s best work yet shows him moving through time–boyhood to youth, pre-memory to adulthood. We find ourselves in horse pastures and wintery fields, anarchist farms and downtown coffeehouses. Outstandingly well-written, all of it. As his work continues to get better each issue, we stand solid in our belief that Trace Ramsey is a major talent destined to write things that last.
Quitter #8 is a quiet, elegant look at passing storms and coming sadness. In a lean and beautifully-written voice akin to Willa Cather (but all his own), Trace Ramsey shows us a tangled kind of life–deep-burrowed hurt, love and belief in (and need for) good creatures, a tinge of wildness in city blocks. A zine about depression and children and childhood and dreams, the eighth issue of Quitter (though brief) is one of the most substantial pieces of literary work in the Pioneers Press catalog. It’s sweet, sad, good-hearted, and smart.
In this anthology of Quitter issues 1-6, we see Ramsey battling fear and freedom, history and an uncertain future. There are no hard and fast answers; nothing set in stone besides the guarantee of chaos and troubled waters ahead. Over the course of 64 pages, Trace struggles through life, winning and failing, looking for a better path but not always finding it.
A deeply honest narrative on struggling to break the binds that hold us down, Quitter: Good Luck Not Dying is a devastating, thrilling read; a beautifully written examination of the frustrations and pitfalls of life in the current age.
* Note: The print version of Good Luck Not Dying is out-of-print. It is only available as an e-book.