Exhilarating, striking, and “genre-bending” are just a few ways to describe The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far by Quintan Ana Wikswo. Published by Coffee House Press in June 2015, Wikswo’s work confronts the reader with stories that bridge “the liminality of human experiences.” Sarah Dohrmann for Electric Literature interviewed Wikswo on August 11, 2015, delving into the intricacies of her work and her fascination with speculative nonfiction and with disturbing the familiar in order to question the habitual.
The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far presents stories that are universal yet deeply personal. Wikswo combines text and illustrations to create stories that leave room for the reader to breathe- presenting a narrative that disorients the reader and forces them to find their own way through it to find deeper connections. Wiskwo said “disorientation forces us to orient ourselves,” a logic clearly seen in the work. She deliberately turned the classic forms of narrative upside-down and added artwork that “leaves the participant ample space to create an idiosyncratic, intimate relationship to the conjured world.”
In the interview, Wiskwo hoped that “the reader is encouraged to take a vacation from familiar constraints” through her work: “I hope that a disruption in the familiar invokes a question of the habitual, and perhaps some encouragement to those who cannot find a place for themselves within the boxes built for our containment.” In a world of escapism and mindless consumption, The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far engages the reader and draws focus to the liminal spaces in life.