Hypnotic, dreamlike, lyrical essays tell the story of a woman trapped in a destructive love affair with the universe. Her understanding of power, desire, and complicity must be transformed again and again.
Addressed to an amorphous ‘you,’ Lerman wrestles with the forces of birth and death, creation and destruction—going deep into the subterranean strata of consciousness and back.
Radically imaginative and intense, challenging language to be slow and fast, soft and hard, drunk and sober, What Are You performs its own destruction and recreation in 50 acts.
Lindsay Lerman's first book, I'm From Nowhere, was published in 2019. Buzzfeed declared it a “heartbreaker of a debut” and Entropy listed it as a favorite book of 2019. Her essays, short stories, and poetry have been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Entropy, Hobart, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. She is working on a feature-length film adaptation of her short story “Real Love,” which first appeared in New York Tyrant magazine. She is also working on a philosophy manuscript about creation and capital in light of Georges Bataille's concept of non-knowledge. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and translates philosophical texts from French to English.
Ryan Ruby is a writer and translator from Los Angeles, California. His fiction and criticism have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions, n+1, The Baffler, and elsewhere. His debut novel The Zero and the One was published in March 2017 by Twelve Books. It has subsequently appeared in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and France. He is the author of a book-length poem, Context Collapse, which was a Finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series and a Semi-Finalist for the 2020 Tomaž Šalamun Prize.