Disintegration in Four Parts

Four writers, four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity.

“All purity is created by resemblance and disavowal.” With this sentence as a starting point, four authors each write a novella considering the concept of purity, all from astonishing different angles. Jean Marc Ah-Sen writes about love blooming between two writers belonging to feuding literary movements. Emily Anglin explores an architect’s search for her missing twin in a nature reserve. Devon Code documents the Wittgensteinian upheavals of the last days of an elderly woman. And Lee Henderson imagines Dada artist Kurt Schwitters finding unlikely inspiration in a Nazi internment camp in northern Norway.

Wildly different in style and subject matter, these four virtuoso pieces give us a 360-degree view of a philosophical theme that has never felt so urgent.

Praise for Disintegration in Four Parts

“Despite the disparity of their subject matter—a Nazi-evading Dadaist detained in Norway, urban and familial estrangements, complicated love amid the avant-garde, the vicissitudes of old age—these brilliantly inventive, delightfully strange stories cling together like four unlikely soulmates, unified by art’s pursuit of coherence through life’s various disintegrations.” Pasha Malla, author of Kill The Mall

“This unique book comprises four novellas, all centered on the idea of purity. Each novella creates its own world and atmosphere, separate from its counterparts and yet perfectly balanced in a quartet. Disintegration in Four Parts is high concept and yet extremely accessible, boasting something for every reader to discover.”  —Laura Graveline, LitHub

“In lesser writers’ hands, a connected theme may read like a constraint, forcing narratives toward a particular voice or conclusion. Not here. Ah-Sen, Anglin, Code, and Henderson write toward purity in unexpected ways and blow their concepts open in this vibrant, intelligent collection.” Allison LaSorda, Quill & Quire

“In this book, four writers consider the idea of purity in wildly different ways: feuding literary movements, deathbed thoughts of an elderly woman, an architect searching for her twin sister and sourcing art at a Nazi internment camp in Norway.Kyle Buckley, Summer Reading Recommendation for Toronto Life

“This strange, charming, and wistful collection springs from a one-sentence starting point: ‘All purity is created by resemblance and disavowal.'” Brian O’Neill, Necessary Fiction

“‘The Green Notebook’ by Devon Code […] asks if art is truly a way to reduce suffering, offering a provocative examination of what we know, and what we can know. “Hollay Ghadery, Carousel Magazine


“‘Purity is a Weird, Dangerous Word,” an interview with Open Book