IF MY BOOK: The Sky Is Yours, Chandler Klang Smith

"The Sky is Yours" by Chandler Klang Smith

Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things. This week Chandler Klang Smith writes about The Sky Is Yours, her debut novel just published by Hogarth Books.

If The Sky Is Yours were a city, anyone with any sense would have already left town.

If The Sky Is Yours were a car, it would be a flying car, driven by a reckless teenager intent on spelling out his own name in exhaust across the sky.

If The Sky Is Yours were a meal, it would be an extravaganza of molecular gastronomy. Every course would be freeze-dried, liquefied, aerated, cubed, sphered, crystallized, cold-smoked, or on fire. But sometimes it would be hot rat tails, greasy and sizzling and sold on the street.

If The Sky Is Yours were a pet, it would be a German Apehound with opposable thumbs and the ability to communicate telepathically with other creatures of its kind. Or it would be a shamanic lab rat with glowing, lemon-lime eyes, who walks upright with a bedazzled tongue depressor as a staff.

If The Sky Is Yours were a wardrobe, it would be crowded with gowns in lush fabrics – velvet, brocade, damask, chiffon—dyed in colors usually seen only in fairy tales: Heartthrob, El Dorado, Secret Garden, Lagoon, Forget-Me-Not.

If The Sky Is Yours were a public space, it would be a cobwebbed library guarded by stone gryphons, where readers go to lose themselves in their last days on Earth… a meeting ground for those awaiting the apocalypse.

If The Sky Is Yours were a drug, it would be chaw: mutant psychotropic moss mashed up with molasses and additives whose names you’ll never know. It would bring you very close to death, but not in the way you’re expecting.

If The Sky Is Yours were a graffiti tag, it would be a leggy snake, a two-headed wingless dragon, mutated and fused, cageable and earthbound, weeping tears of blood: a symbol of hope.

If The Sky Is Yours were a mountain, it would be a volcano.

If The Sky Is Yours were a weapon, it would be a sidearm with a lady’s initials elaborately monogrammed on the grip. It would be an ax, a chainsaw. A lullaby.

If The Sky Is Yours were a society, it would consist entirely of the high and the low, the chosen and the damned. It would have lost its way a long, long time ago.

CHANDLER KLANG SMITH is a fiction writer from Springfield, Illinois. She graduated from Bennington College and has an MFA from Columbia University. She currently lives in New York City. Find out more at chandlerklangsmith.com or follow her on Twitter at @leggysnake.

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