A Review of Two Books: World from Jar and Hypergraphia

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 1.21.53 PM Wilde Press, the publishing house under Undergraduate Students for Publishing, is launching two books on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Bill Bordy Theater. The two student works, World from Jar by Rebecca Crandall and Hypergraphia by Brenna Kleiman, are phenomenally different from one another: a testament to the ever-expanding and ever-varying catalogue for Wilde Press. 

World from Jar is a fantasy work following the story of a “flit” named Indigo. A flit is a fairy-like creature without vocal chords used by humans to create children from wooden puppets. For as long as she can remember, Indigo has been stuck in a jar on a carpenter’s shelf. She longs to be released, but is scared of change; something that most people can relate to (despite the fact we’re not all a few inches tall and trapped in a jar). But when a thief comes and takes her jar in the middle of the night, Indigo is forced out into the real world and has to make some decisions as to who she is and who she wants to be. With influences from several different fairy tales — Pinocchio, Tinkerbell, and Thumbelina immediately come to mind — World from Jar sets up a believable fairy-tale world in which the author has room to explore concepts of self, identity, and the treatment of those who don’t have a voice. The flits are not put into this position willingly, but without anyone to speak up for them (and without the ability to speak up for themselves), they don’t have any choice. Indigo’s journey, and the decisions she is finally forced to make, is her world’s first hope of creating some sense of equality again.

Hypergraphia is a mostly autobiographical, and highly personal poetry collection of author Brenna Kleiman. Hypergraphia is a condition where someone feels the “overwhelming urge to write,” says the definition in the opening of the collection, and is often associated with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. The collection is arranged in sections, with the titular poem having a section to itself at the collection’s center. Influenced by themes of family, love, mythology, and science, the collection chronicles the constant evolution of identity within the writer — cohesive, and yet always shifting. The poetry within the collection is beautifully written and polished, musing on love and past memories. Stand-out poems include Shiner, Housewarming, God Takes a Knitting Class at His Local Recreational Center, Patron Saint of Blue, Hypergraphia, and The Life Cycle of Cape Cod. Perhaps Shiner, the opening poem, can sum up the tone of the collection better than any other words ever could: “We’ll punch ourselves in the face if it means someone will ask us about the black eye.”

Each book will cost 8 dollars at the time of launch, but this isn’t any reason to keep you from buying both. While these stories are quite different from one another in content and tone, they both are based on concepts of self-identity and self-acceptance, as well as a wide host of other themes and ideas. The publication of these manuscripts was a labor of love from everyone involved, and the care taken with every word shines through in the final products.