Foreign Correspondent is about a girl reporter, Johnnie James, in search of international intrigue and romantic excitement. This short novel, written in evocative imagistic sections of short prose, follows Johnnie as she encounters philosophers, jaunty sports journalists, exotic lap birds, retired cage fighters, intrepid doppelganger gal-pals, Marxist sci-fi heart-throbs, fiery martial-arts vixens, and wizened jiu-jitsu masters, all the while fantasizing about ghosts, ninjas, birdmen, yakuza gangsters, wolf dogs, world war II spies, windmills, and volcanic lakes. Drawing heavily on language and tropes from Alfred Hitchcock’s film of the same title, the novel revels in fantasies of the stylized reportage and field research inspired by that film, but also takes up other corresponding forms—love letters, fan letters, telegrams, communiqués and dispatches—in general, many forms in which we pour our desires into language expressly for others: seeking to better understand and draw close what is distant, those who are familiar to us, as well as those who are foreign to us.
Joanna Howard is the author of On the Winding Stair (Boa editions, 2009) and In the Colorless Round, a chapbook with artwork by Rikki Ducornet (Noemi Press). Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, Chicago Review, Verse, Unsaid, Quarterly West, American Letters & Commentary, Fourteen Hills, Western Humanities Review, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky and elsewhere. Her stories have been anthologized in PP/FF: An Anthology, Writing Online, and New Standards: The First Decade of Fiction at Fourteen Hills. She has also co-translated, with Brian Evenson, Walls by Marcel Cohen (Black Square, 2009) and co-translated with Nick Bredie Cows by Frédéric Boyer (forthcoming from Noemi Press). She lives in Providence and teaches at Brown University.
Above: video of Joanna Howard reading from Foreign Correspondent at the Counterpath reading at the 2013 AWP conference, Boston, March 8.
May 3, 2013
$16.00; 5.5 x 8.5″