A novel about escape and connection, class, sex, and queer intimacy in the American Midwest.
The oldest story: an insider pretends to be an outsider and receives praise for his empathy and imagination and intelligence. Maybe some asshole even says bravery. An outsider pretends to be an insider, is exposed as a fraud, a liar, and burned to the ground.
In Ripcord, Nate Lippens continues his meditations on escape and connection, class, sex, and intimacy. Stuck in Milwaukee, the narrator cobbles together a living by bartending and catering weddings, enmeshed in a semiaffair with a younger, married man. Cruising apps while tallying his youthful romantic failures, he fantasizes about disappearance but finds both solace and frustration in his friendships with Charlie, an aging punk who was prominent in the 1990s Chicago queercore scene, and Greer, a painter who never broke through but continues making work.
Nate Lippens's My Dead Book was a finalist for the Republic of Consciousness Prize. His second novel, Ripcord, will be published in 2024 by Semiotext(e) (US) and Pilot Press (UK). His fiction has appeared in the anthologies Little Birds (2021), Responses to Derek Jarman's Blue (Pilot Press, 2022), and Pathetic Literature, edited by Eileen Myles (2022).