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 Sian Griffiths writes about Scrapple, her new novel out from Braddock Avenue Books.
If Scrapple were a body part, it would be an elbow. It has a little bit of a funny bone, but the funny comes with a twinge of pain. There’s a fight about it—a scrappy, back-the-fuck-off, self-protection that it throws when necessary—but this aggression is inseparable from its vulnerability. There’s a point to an elbow, though it’s a complicated point, a moving point, a point that vanishes at times into wrinkles and divots. The elbow, not the hand, is key to holding someone close, the pivot point of any embracing, whole-body affection. Rodin and his Thinker knew the ponderous power of the elbow and how it opens the intellect. You cannot bury your face in your hands without an elbow because it, too, is a place of grief. The elbow is where the straight deviates into bends and rotations. It’s the part of you that draws back to generate a punch or opens to accelerate a banjo’s strum, the part that rests on the table, allowing a pencil to glide through equations, and the part that allows you to fold all that is most precious to your chest and grip it tight.
Siân Griffiths lives in Ogden, Utah, where she directs the graduate program in English at Weber State University. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Cincinnati Review, American Short Fiction, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, among other publications. Her debut novel, Borrowed Horses (New Rivers Press, 2013), was a semi-finalist for the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Her most recent book is The Heart Keeps Faulty Time (Bull City Press, 2020). Currently, she reads fiction as part of the editorial team at Barrelhouse.