The Ruin of Everything

THE RUIN OF EVERYTHING
Stories

LARA STAPLETON

ISBN: 9781734496550
Library of Congress Control Number: 2021932139
Pages: 123
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Distributors: Ingram, Paloma Press, Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books Inc. & select book stores
Price: $18

PALOMA PRESS RELEASES THE RUIN OF EVERYTHING

San Mateo, 19 October 2021 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of The Ruin of Everything, a short story collection by Lara Stapleton, author of the critically acclaimed, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing.

The Ruin of Everything tells tales of abandoned children living in adult bodies. Bastards, bi-racial half-siblings, and orphans raised by aunts, they lose their last best love through brokenness like “the impossible loop in a stress dream.” Racial ambiguity abounds and confounds US color lines. Tones stretch from lugubrious sorrow to wicked dramedy. Obstinately fluid in architecture and identity, stories range from slick Hollywood glam to essayistic musings, from traditional immigrant realism, to rehearsals of autofiction that grow more metatextual as the book goes along. Just as we think we’ve learned how to read Stapleton’s stories, they shapeshift. And yet, the pieces reflect each other, a sad-clown funhouse hall of mirrors. Through wanton experiments with character, The Ruin of Everything asks us what is important to a tale and what it means to be American in country and continents. Lovers of Clarice Lispector and Luisa Valenzuela will find much to admire here.

“An Anaïs Nin of late capitalism’s bohemia, Lara Stapleton writes like an oracle of an underworld—of miscegenated loves and translocated broken souls—of characters unaware or ruinously conscious—and she inscribes that world in us with lust and wit and always that deep joy that encompasses sorrows bred in the bone, the race, the colors of one’s skin, the heart, and of course the tongue: the word.”
Gina Apostol, author of Insurrecto

“With a keen eye for human ambitions and human frailties, Stapleton brings us the comic turmoil of characters steeped in the sorrows and absurdities of modern life; reaching for connection and erring, reaching for home and missing. Brimming with hard-edged loneliness, these stories reach into the underbellies of our deepest hopes and fears.”
Laurel Flores Fantauzzo, author of My Heart Underwater

“If you could read only one of the nine short stories, “New” makes the release of the entire book worthwhile. And “Flesh and Blood” also passed my key test as not just a reader but a writer: the story made me want to run to my own pen or keyboard to write. The stories are engaging but the writing is also a writer’s writer’s delight: the characterizations are not just deep but sumptuous, structures are not just innovative but fresh, and narratives are both finely detailed but interspersed with psychological caesuras for maximizing the reader’s inhabitance.”
Eileen Tabios, author of DoveLion

“Stapleton often eschews the traditional arc of storytelling. Some read like expanded character sketches, though the story is IN the characters. This is not to say the narratives lack emotions — they are embedded in each character, affirmed or denied by their respective coteries. After all, aren’t we the sum of all lives we touched and denied?”
Victor Velasco, poet & fiction writer

“Stapleton appears to have set out to navigate crisscrossing lives by simply allowing the characters, especially the I-persona, to adjudicate between everyday instances of hope and anguish… The navigation is skillfully conducted through shifting maps of loneliness, angst, and the occasional ruin of everything. The inherent intricacies develop a matrix of resultant debris that keeps the story-telling in the throes of deep engagement.”
Alfred Yuson, literary critic and author of The Music Child

“The real pleasure of this book lies in Stapleton’s irrepressible approach to narrative structure. Long, loose chains of events culminate in volta-like swerves…. these endings refashion early meanderings in thrilling flashes.”
The New York Times

Lara photo by Renee Rogoff

LARA STAPLETON is the author of the short story collection, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers’ Selection and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She is the recipient of a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant for Writers, a two-time winner of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for Fiction and winner of the Columbia Journal Fiction Prize.

Virtual book release party, Oct 19 at 5pm PST/8pm EST. 

The Flesh and Blood book party, Oct 22, 7pm EST, 3 Bleecker St NYC. 

For more information, please email editor[at]palomapress.net.


Pushcart & Best of the Net Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Pushcart & Best of the Net nominees! Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Jacki Rigoni, Lara Stapleton (Paloma Press) Cole Eubanks, Eugene Gloria, Veronica Kornberg, Jenna Le, Esteban Rodriguez, James J. Siegel (MiGoZine, Pushcart) Tamiko Beyer, Karla Brundage, Clara Hsu, Hilary King, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Timothy Liu (MiGoZine, Best of the Net)

TRoE @ Bowery & KGB

Scenes from Lara Stapleton’s Flesh and Blood book party at VON 3 Bleecker, Bowery and reading at KGB Bar NYC! Click here for more information about The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton.

browngirlbooklover interview with Lara Stapleton

Leslie-Ann Murray (@browngirlbooklover) interviews Lara Stapleton

BGBL: Why is diversity in the literary industry important?

LS: “I like what Shonda Rhimes said about it, “It’s normalizing.” Part of being humane is understanding that everybody’s stories are important.

People of privilege think that their expensive education gives them more of a right to these stories than others, and at the same time not they don’t really support societal shifts that give people enough education and confidence to easily take ownership over their stories.

Diversity in literature is important because human beings are important and because there are so many interesting stories to be told.”

Watch the interview here.

Lara Stapleton at SFPL

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The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton is a San Francisco Public Library Filipino American History Month recommended title! Click here for SFPL’s full list of titles.

HOT OFF THE PRESS hosted by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and co-sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., will be streamed live on Saturday, October 9 at 5pm Pacific, via YouTube. Register here to join the webinar.

The Hot Off the Press (HOTP) Literary Reading, a program which is part of the Filipino American International Book Festival. Hosted and Moderated by author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Hot Off the Press Literary Readings have been showcasing Filipino and FilAm authors and their new books since 2011.

This year’s HOTP Literary Reading includes nine Filipino and Filipino American authors: Gina Apostol, Jhoanna Lynn Cruz, George Gonzaga Deoso, Caroline Sy Hau, Mae Respicio, Randy Ribay, Brian Ascalon Roley, Ricco Siasoco and Lara Stapleton.

Alfred Yuson reviews The Ruin of Everything

Award-winning writer and literary critic Alfred A. Yuson reviews Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything:

“…Stapleton appears to have set out to navigate crisscrossing lives by simply allowing the characters, especially the I-persona, to adjudicate between everyday instances of hope and anguish… The navigation is skillfully conducted through shifting maps of loneliness, angst, and the occasional ruin of everything. The inherent intricacies develop a matrix of resultant debris that keeps the story-telling in the throes of deep engagement.” Read full review here.

Hot Off the Press features 9 FilAm authors

The Hot Off the Press (HOTP) Literary Reading, a program of the Filipino American International Book Festival, will be via Zoom this year. The event, sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and PAWA will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2021, 5–6:30 p.m. PT. 

Hosted and Moderated by author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Hot Off the Press Literary Readings have been showcasing Filipino and FilAm authors and their new books since 2011.

This year’s HOTP Literary Reading includes nine Filipino and Filipino American authors: Gina Apostol, Jhoanna Lynn Cruz, George Gonzaga Deoso, Caroline Sy Hau, Mae Respicio, Randy Ribay, Brian Ascalon Roley, Ricco Siasoco, and Lara Stapleton.

Register here or Watch on YouTube.