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Acacia, a Book of Wonders: A Novel

Acacia, a Book of Wonders: A Novel

Current price: $22.95
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Texas Review Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Apr 19 6:11pm
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“...manufactures its own uncanny light by which to read.”
—Selah Saterstrom, author of Ideal Suggestions and Slab
“Strange, moving, extraordinary...”
—Laird Hunt, author of Zorrie and Neverhome
“...magical and a revelation”
—Janice Lee, author of Separation Anxiety and Imagine a Death

Acacia, a Book of Wonders tells the story of Petra Caldwell, the matriarch of Acacia, a new religious movement located in a densely wooded East Texas thicket. In this non-space of surreal and mystical happenings, the saints of Acacia worship birds as prophetic emblems and prepare for a prophesied end-times event known as The Commotions. All the while, Petra wrestles against the wiles set for her by her predecessor, the Prophetess Mother Salome Nightingale. Acacia, a Book of Wonders affords a unique vantage point in cult fiction: a narrative told from the perspective of the group’s leader.
From “Poisoned and Indisposed”
Against my best judgment, I returned to the sensations of the orb. The winged chair. I could build this. This was not beyond me. The gallery in The Pear House, explaining so much hidden lore of Acacia. I would commission these portents be created by the careful brush of Mya. And the chariot, borne by vultures. I would construct this.

About the Author

VINCENT JAMES lives and writes in the Driftless area of Wisconsin, where he teaches creative writing at Viterbo University. James earned a Ph.D. in English & Creative Writing from the University of Denver. His other works include the chapbook, Rady, or Squirrelhunter (Ravenna Press, 2021), and the collaborative novel, Swerve (Astrophil Press, 2021). Visit him online at

Praise for Acacia, a Book of Wonders: A Novel

"The tangle of nervous systems and fever dreams that pulse within Acacia reminds me of an old hymn dipped in technicolor and then broadcast through the speakers of a two-toned Lincoln Continental. Church is where you make it. Shall we gather within the ruination to practice resurrection? Acacia suggests that if we do, we might experience salvation on terms we never imagined. Vincent James has written a mesmerizing novel teeming with gorgeous sentences. It’s the sort of remarkable book that manufactures its own uncanny light by which to read."
—Selah Saterstrom, author of Ideal Suggestions and Slab

"Acacia, by Vincent James, is exactly what it claims to be, a book of wonders. Strange, moving, extraordinary, this is work built with serious brio and serious craft. James can spin a fabulous yarn and he can write a hell of a sentence: it doesn't get any better than that."
—Laird Hunt, author of Zorrie and Neverhome

"In this incantatory and perilous epic, apocalypse comes to be redefined, not as an ending of the world or even simply as divine unveiling, but the arrival of a kind of knowing instigated by the imminent grief and perilous fear of finality, that is, this is a novel about lostness, about fear, about worlding outwards against the confines of treacherous boundaries. James’s lush language feels like a series of invocations, the reaching and desire described in the words resonant and enacted by the gathering of energies by the novel’s own visionary musicality. As I read, I can feel these words wanting to be recited, caught in my throat like spells. This book is magical and a revelation."
—Janice Lee, author of Separation Anxiety and Imagine a Death