2014 NOVELLA PRIZE SELECTED BY JOSEPH BATES
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When Pinson Charfo wakes one morning to find a strange note at his bedside from a Mr. Ralfo to a Mr. Cormill, neither of whom he knows, it proves to be the first in a series of odd clues designed specifically for him to follow, embroiling him in a complex mystery featuring plagiarized manifestos, narcotized cultists, the search for pornographic prints, and a busted fountain whose runoff forms an underground lake beneath the never-named city’s unsuspecting feet. Tote Hughes’s Fountain is a metaphysical detective story unlike any other, a comic tour de force set in a labyrinthine world of shifting signs and dreamlike insolubility.
Reviews & Such
- David Rawson’s interview with Tote Hughes appeared in Heavy Feather Review on May 28, 2015.
- John Wilkinson, Associate Chair for Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Chicago, gave the introduction to Hughes’s Seminary Co-op Bookstore reading on April 15, 2015.
- Publishers Weekly reviewed Fountain on March 9, 2015: “In this first-person narrative told in Charfo’s voice, the journey becomes the reward … Readers experience the topsy-turvy sense of having landed in media res in a strange world without knowledge of the landmarks. … an intelligent, perceptive novel.”
- John Taylor recommended Fountain in the March 2015 edition of Midwest Book Review: “Erudite, complex, deftly constructed…Very highly recommended for community and academic library literary fiction collections.”
- A micro review of Fountain appeared in Nerds of a Feather Flock Together in March 2015: “Fountain has that wonderfully bizarre but ingenious feel that leaves you on the edge of your seat grasping for more.”
- Fountain seems not unlike a witty and elegant English translation of some peculiar allegory from another land and another time. It’s wonderful, in other words. I deeply admire this antic, atmospheric, and dreamily vivid tale.
–Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits and U.S.!
- Tote Hughes’s Fountain is one of the strangest books I’ve come across in years, and I mean that as an extraordinary compliment. Hughes has the bureaucratic weirdness of Kafka, the twisted mystery of Hitchcock, the obsessive introspection of Bernhard, and a wholly original, funny-as-hell voice that makes me sure we’ll be seeing lots more of this writer for a long time to come.
—Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies
About the Author
Tote Hughes lives in Geneva, Switzerland, working at CERN in pursuit of a PhD in high energy physics.