With a seamless weave of letters, reminiscences, poems and journal entries, Sikelianos creates a loving portrait—and an unblinking indictment—of her father. Jon, a multitalented, eccentric visionary, emerges as a brilliant, charming, irresponsible, frustrating, and ultimately tragic hero.
This is a saga of the rise and fall of family lines—a tale marked by bohemia, Greek poets, intellectuals, drugs and homelessness. It is the story of eccentrics and survivors, the strength of personal vision and the nature of addiction, and what it does to families. An exquisitely rendered exploration of the harrowing and motivating forces of family, history, and individual choices.
Eleni Sikelianos’ previous books include Earliest Worlds and the National Poetry Series winner The Monster Lives of Boys & Girls. She lives in Boulder, CO.
"In the past century, poetic collage has gone from revolutionary composition method to creative-writing exercise, but it has lost none of its force … The contemporary collage poem in particular has proved itself to be a remarkably flexible form, capable of containing many matters and arguments and of availing itself readily of reflexivity and meta-collage … The Book of Jon is beautifully and scrupulously written, and like many of the grand collages of the past century, it acknowledges that human experience is by definition partial, fragmentary, and riddled with obfuscations, as is the art that most faithfully reflects it."—Susan M. Schultz, The Boston Review
"Eleni Sikelianos is no ordinary memoirist. She is first and foremost a poet, and it's the precision and thoughtfulness of her language that draws us in. In it she explores her troubled love for her father in a series of short chapters that incorporate observations, rants, dreams, letters, a family tree, photographs, poetry."—Andrew Ervin, The Washington Post
"The Book of Jon is a poem in the form of a memoir, a tragedy in the form of gradual revelation, a tale in the form of a nightmare from which you are not allowed to wake. It is a book of rare beauty, an elegy comprised of affirmation, illustration, divination, and pure loss."—Laura Wright, The American Book Review