We don’t experience memory in linear fashion, nor even in a strictly coherent one. It’s peppered with tangents and strange loops. It’s multithreaded. It’s not always made up of words. Why should a memoir strive to strip memory completely of this context?
ally is an ergodic, arborescent, semiautobiographical work about identity, mental health, spirituality, and the mutability of the past. A lot of the information contained within is real, some of it isn’t. Each page is structured as a conversation between myself and my ally, a mirror reflection of myself.
Based off the interactive project at ally.id, this book explores different facets of my life — some true, some embellished, some wholly fictitious — in a non-linear, ergodic fashion, using color, page-layout, and mixed-media to create a book more experience than memoir.
The paperback is now available for order. All copies ordered direct are signed and come in a custom-made box by JD at Dog Paw Makers. You can also order from Better World Books, Powell’s, or many other fine independent booksellers (and I guess Amazon or Barnes & Noble if you must).
You can also order the PDF ebook exclusively from me. I have yet to figure out how to sign those. Sorry.
ally from start to finish is a short companion book explaining how the project was made, both the website ally.id and the book. It talks about the structure, the tools and the pitfalls encountered along the way. It also comes with the source for itself so that you can see some of what goes into producing a book like this (as ally uses much the same structure).
Several sections focus on suicide, self-harm, rape, sexual content, and poor mental health.
“Cleareyed yet powerfully immediate . . . A fresh, daring exploration of lived experience.”
“I felt I was chasing down fractions of the author’s soul. Chasing them not because I got this to read and review, but because I deeply wanted to. So I could put them together and solve an ultimate puzzle whose picture would contain some incomprehensible beauty.”
““That matters to me more than I expected,” said about someone else’s life, is my summary of this whole book.”
Have you been at your Maddy-est about it?