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The five sequences of Lift Your Right Arm are minimalist novels of sorts—thought-provoking, mostly deadpan prose that is often darkly humorous. From the stark relationship studies of "Bagatelles" and "Dirty Windows" to the wry observations of "Mr. Deadman" and "A Certain Clarence," the stars of these pieces are Peter Cherches’ unique takes on Everyman and Everywoman—dead or alive—navigating a world in which very little is what it seems.
Read Excerpts from Lift Your Right Arm (pdf)
Read the title piece on Poetry 180
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For more information, please visit The Lift Your Right Arm Blog
Outtakes from Lift Your Right Arm
An ebook of outtakes, much like bonus material found on CDs and DVDs. The book serves as a companion ebook to Lift Your Right Arm for readers interested in the process as well as the writing.
These are pieces that were cut from the book because, as the author states in the preface to this collection, "the tone doesn't seem quite right in the scheme of the whole, or perhaps because the mood or premise is too close to something else already in the group."
This unique volume is available exclusively from Amazon and makes a great addition to your Peter Cherches collection.
“Packed into Lift Your Right Arm are conundrums, Abbott-and-Costello dialogues, nonsense narratives and other playful—sometimes hilarious, sometimes subversive—assaults on logic. To Gödel, Escher, and Bach we might consider adding Peter Cherches.”Billy Collins
“Peter Cherches is one of the stingiest writers going—stingy with words, that is. He won’t use ten words if he can get away with five, and he won’t write a novel if he can convey its pith in a page. This book, then, is the equivalent of a whole shelf of books. Read slowly, it can last you for years.”Luc Sante
“I swear, Peter Cherches is a bloody Boy Scout, blazing trail after trial after Tenderfoot trooper Kafka in this new manual of terrifying trifles, Lift Your Right Arm. He over qualifies for the merit badge of knotting knotty knots. His hitched fictions—bent and twisted, worsted and loopy—articulate the inarticulate. They tie you up; they tie you off; they tie-dye you. These skeins of embroidered language fray, frayed and fraying till the bitter bitterest end.”Michael Martone
Author of Four for a Quarter and Michael Martone
“One of the innovators of the short short story, Cherches (Condensed Book) returns with a collection whose pieces linger in the void somewhere between poetry and prose. Consisting of five sequences of loosely connected minimalist stories—few of which go on for longer than a page—these “novellas”, though distinct, keep returning to certain overarching themes: the reality of death, the difficulty of expressing subjective perspective, and the failures of language.”Publishers Weekly
“For decades Peter Cherches has been the master of what they learned in his wake to call flash fiction—tiny little paragraphs and plenty of white space. And best of all he engineers, through the power of canny accretion, these individual stories into ‘sequences,’ as he calls them, that bear the weight and range of the best sort of European novels. Almost like someone writing Pound’s Cantos using only the once-familiar format of the Burma-Shave sign.”Kevin Killian
author of Spreadeagle and Impossible Princess
“Cherches is an experienced, self-aware writer with a great ear for colloquialisms and an ever-restless, clever way with literary structure. His work does what good literature should: it makes readers rethink their circumstances. What’s more, it does so in a really entertaining way.”M. Kasper, Gently Read Literature
“If your dreams run dry, Mr. Cherches will refill the well.”Peter Wortsman
author of Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray and A Modern Way to Die
Peter Cherches is the author of two previous volumes of short prose, Condensed Book and Between a Dream and a Cup of Coffee. His work has appeared in the anthologies Poetry 180 and Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992. His fiction and other short prose work has been featured in a wide range of magazines and journals, including Harper's, Semiotext(e), Transatlantic Review, Fiction International, North American Review, Fence and Bomb. Cherches was active, on page and on stage, in the raucous and unpredictable literary, music and performance scenes of downtown Manhattan in the 1980s. Sonorexia, the avant-vaudeville music/performance group he co-led with Elliott Sharp, appeared at such legendary venues as The Mudd Club and CBGB. Cherches also writes about food and music and is a two-time recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships in creative nonfiction. He is a native of Brooklyn, New York.