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The Hole in the Den by Michael Martrich Now Available!

When Tory Spry’s hallucinations become more frequent - what start out as a “pinpoint,” extend into an “arc,” and eventually become the blunted but flashing “Fingerprint” - he reluctantly but necessarily retreats inward into the well of himself. Swimming through the blackholed remnants of his outside world - high school, church, diners, home, in the car with his friends - Spry can only find comfort in sleep, the cold, the woods, and in his best friend John, who has a deep internal secret himself. And within our haunting and untouchable loneliness, we are separate but not alone.


Vision is all radiance and irritation for a sentimental educator and teenagers alike in a depressed Pennsylvania suburb. Tory is an apt (and entangled) observer of phenomena related to conservancies, pools, schools; he thrives in twilight, traversing a topography of headaches, "flows and hang-ups." Friends and environments are obscured by smoke, so texture is most reliable, here rendered as "the Eternal Fingerprint," or "the wrapping touch.” Floating between the arcs and pinpoints of a migrainous ocean floor, briars and chain-linked fences are an analogue to the helplessness of relationships, the transparency of leftovers through which John, Min, Lucas, and others only fade. "The secrets between us are not so dissimilar.” More than that: they're bonded.

—J. Gordon Faylor, Gauss PDF

The Hole in the Den brings us directly into the tender, shifting stream of adolescence and childhood, and under the water too, with prose that is precise and haunting and like a map leading in circles, drawing us into the indistinguishable place between emotion and intellect, the soft and membranous divisions between self and other, and the halfway majesty of the woods just off the highway.

—Emily Kiernan, author of Great Divide

"All-American alchemy! With The Hole in the Den, Michael Martrich manages the miraculous transfiguration of youthful suburban memories into something far more mysterious and wise. Incantatory sentences swirl and spin, piling on secrets, smells, glances, rocks and cigarettes, names carved in bark and flashes of jarring erudition. Loss and longing, caught in the gravity well of time and language, cast a spell that imbues hard truths with uncertainty and dreams with the lucid texture of the real."

—Jürgen Fauth, author of Kino and Head Cases

Michael Martrich is a writer and musician from Eastern Pennsylvania. He released A Night I Could Have Sworn Was an Ocean Floor (2016) with his band, Sports for Kin, and is the author of “Like a Sewn-up Skin with Salt” Near-Recognizing the Sea: An Idiot Body Without Organs Threatened and Tempted by Becoming (Listening, Whispering) Sea-Ghost (2014). The Hole in the Den is his first novel. He lives in Dakar, Senegal.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 238 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-277-8



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