Fiction. In THE VIOLENCE ALMANAC, Miah Jeffra complicates the boundaries between culture and nature, fiction and true-crime, desire and pain. In this powerful fiction debut, Jeffra takes us through the California landscape to map the various ways that violence emerges, terrorizes and shapes our most familiar social structures.
An ostracized child yearns to be the hero for a rural community threatened by an escaped penitentiary inmate. An ambitious young writer receives mysterious film clips that thrust her and her boyfriend into a spiral of grief. A sex worker attempts to move on after her best friend is murdered by a john. A seismologist struggles to control his rage over a breakup that summons his internal racism. A biographer seeks to capture the truth of Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who drowned her five children.
Familiar and real, ripped from headlines yet a fiction all its own, THE VIOLENCE ALMANAC vacillates between visceral horror and heartbreaking humanity. With a broad array of voices, these stories paint a portrait of the vastly diverse, complicated, hyper-mediated state of California and the state of ourselves, and blurs the line between safety and danger, love and obsession, victim and agent of violence.