Poetry / Fiction / Art / Aphorisms. American Homes incorporates poetry, prose, and various schematic devices, including dozens of illustrations by the artist Jacob Heustis, to create a cracked narrative of the domestic spaces we inhabit.
“You want to know what I think about Ryan Ridge, the writer, the author of this great book in your hands, you there, holding this book, kind of figuring, well, should I buy it or shouldn't I: well good, I'll tell you about Ryan Ridge. He is the single greatest should-be-already-known-by-everyone young writer of genius, of sparkling drugged handsome funny—and if you can be funny, like this guy funny, knock yourself out, if you can be this smart and funny, but you're probably getting sort of tired already just trying to imagine being the kind of funny this guy is funny, not easy funny, genius funny, the kind to make you laugh, make you just GD tickled how funny he is, clever, historically playful, formally inventive, big scope, firework, Brautigan, you know, bred with say Vonnegut, listen, I'm getting a bit famished here, trying to convoke you into getting it, that this guy, Ridge, remember, Ryan Ridge, he is not someone to put the book thereof's down, I'm saying buy it buy it buy it, and then try like hell after you finish it, in one day, in an afternoon, convexed into it as you will be, rushing through it, swallowing the whole book trying to—once all through it you'll be wanting more, then try like hell to get a handle on his first book Hunters and Gamblers, after you finish American Homes and then do what I do, and wait your pretty self for the next one to come from Ryan Ridge into your lucky hands.”
—Luke B. Goebel, author of Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours
"Ryan Ridge inflects his anatomy of suburban interiors with a madcap, panoptic conceptualist idiom, and his readers will be left feeling they never gave nearly enough thought to the stuff that real, lived life comprises: walls, floors, doors, windows, garages, sheds, attics and basements. Ostensibly a tongue-in-cheek meditation satirizing the homogenization of contemporary domestic space, American Homes develops a truly heterogeneous literary architecture founded on the basis of formal dynamism and linguistic play."
—Evan Lavender-Smith, author of From Old Notebooks
"Ryan Ridge’s American Homes is a guidebook gagbook rulebook dreambook thoughtbook freakbook stylebook cookbook mapbook. It’s overflowing with ideas, with mental diagrams and musings on the vast contraptions that surround us everyday. Somewhere between Perec and Brautigan, between Barthelme and Markson, Ridge emerges from the rhizome of rooms we call today and nudges it in the ribs until there’s a hole there for you to stick your head in and inhale the funny bubbles of fresh blood."
—Blake Butler, author of There Is No Year
"In the kitchens in Ryan Ridge’s American Homes are Cuisinarts into which he pours the words he bakes into loaves of prose, more rye than wry. The sandwiches he makes from them are fun to eat but leave a bitter taste in the mouth because the Land of American Homes is, after all, a bitterplace. Still: the American Home is “shooting sunbeams out of its eye sockets” so welcome home. And welcome Ryan Ridge’s American Homes into yours!"
—Denis Wood, author of Everything Sings
Cover collage: “Champagne George,” Jacob Heustis