Dispatches from Parts Unknown (Hardcover)

Dispatches from Parts Unknown By Bryan Bliss Cover Image

Dispatches from Parts Unknown (Hardcover)

$19.99


On Our Shelves Now
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe (55 Haywood St, Asheville)
1 on hand, as of May 29 9:08pm
(YOUNG ADULT)

Julie knows it’s unusual that a professional wrestler runs a constant commentary on her life that only she can hear. But grief can be awfully funny sometimes. National Book Award nominee Bryan Bliss delivers a thought-provoking, one-of-a-kind novel about how to tread the line between moving on and holding on. Dispatches from Parts Unknown is for fans of David Arnold, Nina LaCour, and You’ve Reached Sam

Ever since her dad died three years ago, Julie has been surviving more than thriving. And surviving is sneaking into her parents’ closet when her mom is out, since it’s the only place that still sometimes smells like her dad. It’s roaming around the Mall of America. It’s pulling out the box of her dad’s VHS tapes, recordings of his favorite vintage professional wrestling matches.

And it’s hearing the voice of the Masked Man in her head, running a commentary of her life.

It’s embarrassing, really. Sure, he was her dad’s favorite wrestler, but that doesn’t mean she wants him in her head. And does he really have to comment on everything?

As Julie finally starts to come out of the haze of grief just as her senior year is winding down, maybe she’ll finally figure out why that voice is there, and how to let it go.

National Book Award nominee Bryan Bliss expertly balances dark and light to weave a compelling and ultimately uplifting story that readers will want to revisit again and again. 

Bryan Bliss is the author of the National Book Award longlist title We’ll Fly Away as well as Thoughts & Prayers, Meet Me Here, and No Parking at the End Times. He is an Episcopal priest and a creative writing teacher, and he holds master’s degrees in theology and fiction. His nonfiction has been published in Image Journal along with various other newspapers, magazines, and blogs. He lives with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062962270
ISBN-10: 0062962272
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English

“Since her dad died three years ago, 18-year-old Julie has been having ongoing conversations with an imagined professional wrestler, the Masked Man, who lives in her head. . . . One of the joys of this terrific, character-driven novel is watching these lives intersect. . . . Julie’s grief for her dead father gives a poignancy that adds depth to her character and is never maudlin. . . . The engaging tone of this terrific novel is spot on, while Bliss demonstrates a welcome gift for dialogue. . . . The feel-good novel of the year.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Since Julie’s father died three years ago, she’s been engaged in silent conversation with an imaginary version of her dad’s favorite pro wrestler, the Masked Man. . . . Julie’s teacher, Mr. Wentz, asks her to help plan prom. . . . A reluctant Julie expects to hate every moment; however, in the process . . . Julie finally starts to heal. . . . Bliss writes incisively about grief, approaching a weighty topic with empathy, grace, and genial humor. Sweet, caring relationships—parental, platonic, and romantic—add to the uplifting tone.” — Publishers Weekly

“Julie knows that it’s odd having the Masked Man, her dad’s favorite professional wrestler, offer sardonic commentary in her own head. . . . His presence has been a comforting lifeline over the past three years since her dad died. . . . Bliss ably balances humor, poignancy, and raw grief, emphasizing that mourning looks like all sorts of things. . . . The book . . . makes room for the truth that one might never actually be . . . okay after losing a loved one, but that this transformation . . . is valid and meaningful.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Julie and her mom have escaped the emotional fog that overtook them when their beloved dad and husband died unexpectedly, but . . . she still leans heavily on the conversations she has in her head with the Masked Man, a professional wrestler. . . . Julie’s wryly funny, self-deprecating, and authentic narrative voice, the wide cast of eccentric but realistically drawn characters . . . and the beautiful, unshowy writing will keep readers going all the way to the auspicious end. A smart, poignant meditation on losing someone you love and living with the loss.” — Kirkus Reviews