In concise and distilled prose, Lemus presents a collection of still lifes, landscapes, and portraits of a challenging year that threatened all she loved most.
“There are only a few words per page in Particulate Matter, but that doesn’t actually matter. The words Felicia Luna Lemus does carefully choose serve to paint a brilliant picture of her marriage, of a Los Angeles covered in ash, of dashed hopes and new beginnings.”
—Good Morning America
“A tiny, powerful flame of a book. Lemus’ writing lands like sparks and ash, fragmented and tinged with grief…Particulate Matter is…an exploration of the simultaneity of delight, yearning, grief and confusion of being in love with a person and a place. Of being alive at all.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“An unforgettable meditation on [Felicia Luna Lemus’s] experiences…Lemus bears an unmatched precision of the craft. This succinct mic drop of a personal story begs to be read over and over again.”
“With playful and warm prose, Lemus takes readers into the most difficult year of her life and marriage. Set in Los Angeles, it chronicles her [spouse’s] sudden and serious adult-onset asthma, and the literal and figurative fires that raged that year over their lives.”
“Lush and vibrant even in its sparseness, Felicia Luna Lemus’s Particulate Matter masterfully evokes the fragmentary experience of moving through time and space. Episodes flash by us, eliciting worry or wonder, defeat or delight. It can all change in a moment, Lemus assures us. Finding the lyrical in the mundane, Lemus’s lines pause motion, require the reader to consider what informs the impulse, what lies in the spare space between yes or no and fight or flight. These before-and-after moments, and the emotions that attend them–longing, loss, love, anger–mark us, accumulate, become us. Particulate Matter is a powerful exploration of the quickly changing landscapes–fraught, brittle, pensive, luminous–inside us.”
—Lynell George, author of After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame
“Particulate Matter is a blessed offering: Felicia Luna Lemus shows us her fierce and generous heart and soul in gorgeous, tender, playful prose. Come tell me that’s hyperbole after you read it.”
—Elizabeth Crane, author of Turf
Particulate Matter is the story of a year in Felicia Luna Lemus’s marriage when the world turned upside down. It’s set in Los Angeles, and it’s about love and crisis, loss and grief, the city and the ocean, ancestral ghosts and history haunting. Nature herself seemed to howl. Fires raged and covered the house Lemus and her spouse shared in ash. Everything crystallized. It was the most challenging and terrifying time she had ever experienced, and yet it was also a time when the sublime beauty of the everyday shone through with particular power and presence.