‘This book left me stunned. Breathtaking in its scope and generosity . . . We are in the midst of a transcendent talent.’ Maaza Mengiste, author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted The Shadow King
‘Rapturous . . . [Horn] is the mystic’s David Attenborough.’ New York Times Book Review
Lars Horn’s Voice of the Fish, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, is a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory memoir that explores the trans experience through meditations upon aquatic life and mythology, set against the backdrop of travels in Russia and a debilitating injury that left Horn temporarily unable to speak, read and write. In their adept hands, these poignant, allusive shards take shape as a unified whole: short vignettes about fish, reliquaries and antiquities serve as interludes between – and subtle reflections upon – longer memories of their life, knitting together a sinuous, wave-like form that flows across the book.
Horn swims through a range of subjects; across marine history, theology, questions of the body and gender, sexuality, transmasculinity and illness. From their childhood modelling for their mother’s art installations – immersed in a bath with dead squid; encased in a full-body plaster cast – to their travels before they were out as trans, these beguiling fragments are linked by a desire to interrogate the physical, and to identify the current beneath. Horn re-examines presumptions about the body, privileging instead ways of seeing and being that resist binaries, ways that falter, fracture, mutate. Sensuous and immersive, Voice of the Fish is unique: a masterful and moving achievement.
‘This book left me stunned. Breathtaking in its scope and generosity . . . a luminous and compassionate reckoning with borders and boundaries. And all of this written in achingly beautiful prose that catches the light in even the darkest of moments. We are in the midst of a rare and transcendent talent, and how lucky we are that Lars Horn exists.’ – Maaza Mengiste, author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted The Shadow King
‘Rapturous . . . [Horn] is the mystic’s David Attenborough.’ – New York Times Book Review
‘Ocean-deep and brimming with beauty, Voice of the Fish is a wondrous book, formed with the expansiveness and strong currents of a vast body of water. I didn’t want to leave until I’d seen every glowing image.‘ – Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic
‘A sonorous meditation on living a fluid life.’ – Publishers Weekly
‘Horn’s story sparkles with emotional intensity.’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Casting a wide net into the realms of knowing and existing, trawling the depths of the past and the body, Lars Horn steers us in pristine prose to places where the body is washed up, transformed, reborn. Voice of the Fishis a dazzling assemblage.’ – Jenny Boully, author of Betwixt-and-Between
‘Voice of the Fish is a mighty and innovative work . . . adventurous, bold, anti-authoritarian, and physical, we would all be well served to take note of this generation of new writers to which Horn belongs, sending us missives from the future of language and storytelling – more exacting, broad and excellent than we have yet imagined.‘ – Casey Legler, author of Godspeed: A Memoir
‘Lars Horn has written a slippery text, one alive with brilliance and originality about the body, the mind, and how we inhabit ourselves in this world. I read Voice of the Fish with an underlining pencil in one hand and a gasp in my throat. Its wisdom refracts, mutates, shimmers. I know I’ll be thinking about it for years to come.’ – Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
‘Mesmerising – a transformative exploration of gender, genre and art, filled with shifting currents and ancient creatures of the deep. Lars Horn is an exceptional voice.’ – Liam Konnemann, author of The Arena of the Unwell
Lars Horn is a writer and translator working in literary and experimental non-fiction. Their first book, Voice of the Fish, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and was an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Selection. The recipient of the Tin House Without Borders Residency and a Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholarship, Horn’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Literary Hub, Granta, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Initially specialising in Phenomenology and Visual Arts scholarship, they hold MAs from the University of Edinburgh, the École normale supérieure, Paris, and Concordia University, Montreal. They split their time between Miami, Colorado, and the UK with their wife, the writer Jaquira Díaz.