The In-Betweens: A Lyrical Narrative
Everytime Press, December 2018
Praise for The In-Betweens
The In-Betweens veers, tonally, into fables and then into fairytale, all without leaving the very real world Loeb grew up in. We are transported, moved, given new lenses with which to view what we thought we already knew. Loeb’s incisive, yet lyrical, voice is our guide, encouraging us to savor each turn of phrase, every observation, and the greater narrative arc of this collection.
~ Yi Shun Lai, Prose Editor of Tahoma Literary Review and author of the novel Not a Self-Help Book: the Misadventures of Marty Wu
Beginning with the challenges of how his White father and Black mother met, with their desire “to run away and start fresh and new”—resulting in a sometimes “pretend family”—to a near-archetypal description of his grandfather having just cut the grass as the author watches with a swollen lip and a black eye, to incessant moments in which different expressions of masculinity get inculcated, in The In-Betweens: A Lyrical Narrative Davon Loeb frequently captures the disturbing poesy of life growing up. With painstaking detail, Loeb revisits family tales of slavery, Alabama, domestic labor, church, cornrows, and the significance of studying one’s history, specters that continue to haunt him. This work is in the vein of James McBride’s The Color of Water, Justin Torres’s We the Animals, and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, that is, work in which we learn about hardship from the perspective of the child. Confession, manifesto, bildungsroman, and prayer, The In-Betweens is a meditation on bruise and healing. Loeb’s struggles become snapshots of how transformation occurs even where shards have been piled, where one waits “for something to happen, like flashes of red and blue sirens pulsing.” A truly extraordinary new voice!
~ Roy G. Guzmán, author of Restored Mural for Orlando
Sentence to sentence, The In-Betweens is awake to the awe of being in a body, and the beauty and danger of negotiating a culture that wants to drive space between us, inside us. Davon Loeb is writing to stay alive under harsh conditions, and he has given us a brilliant, devastating book.
~ Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship
“As a child, I only knew part of the story,” Davon Loeb says. In The In-Betweens, he looks back on his childhood without self-pity, and with abiding affection for his mixed-race family. From the stuff of daily life—road trips, household chores, backyard play—he forges a tender, nuanced account that always avoids oversimplifying.
~ Lisa Zeidner, author of Layover