I read Ruination in January in the grey on Lake Michigan. A year later I read it again while stuck in the white of a blizzard on Lake Champlain in Vermont. These barren landscapes are the book’s landscapes, but there’s subterranean growth. Katie Jean Shinkle has inverted a world, which allows us to see the seams of care and the conditions for bloom, despite state-sanctioned violence, misogyny, and barren landscapes. This book is both a burial plot and a garden plot.
Steven Dunn, author of Potted Meat and water & power
Ruination is a visceral tale of transformation and hallucinatory beauty. With gorgeous, lucid prose, Katie Jean Shinkle offers us a world of desire and decay. I am grateful for this book.
Patty Yumi Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
Katie Jean Shinkle’s lush sentences and dreamy dystopian girl-visions can’t entirely mask her expansive queer optimism—everything is terrible but what’s also contagious is solidarity. I want to carry this little polished gem in my pocket everywhere I go, as protection and a reminder.
Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
Katie Jean Shinkle is our new master writer of the nightmare. In Ruination she has created a classic world of infestation and prophets and terrorist sisters. It’s a world where girls are sent to eradication centers for sprouting flowers and mushrooms and forsythia bushes from their skin. The prose is tender and bold and sharp. If you were to carve the initials of this book on your knee, you would have to spell one word: amazing.
Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book and The Incantations of Daniel Johnston
Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of three full-length books and four chapbooks, most recently There Are So Many Things That Beg You For Love (damaged goods press, 2017) and The Arson People (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015). Other work can be found in or is forthcoming from New South, Washington Square Review, Ninth Letter, Booth, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.