A Frog in My Throat

Dr. Cicero Books | coming October 2017

Exclusive - Taibi Mastelse 2010

A collage by Taibi Mastelse based on a collaboration with Matt Briggs posted at Necessary Fiction in August 2010.

“This certainty results in uncertainty, in instability, in the ability to do the opposite of what you need, the ability of a liquid to become a solid, of a flock to scatter into individual birds, to do the opposite of what you need so that we, the group, the people who are likely to deceive you get what we need. The question then becomes how does the man know what he needs? A single molecule of water needs other molecules of water if it is going to be a body of water. A seagull needs other seagulls if it is going to be a flock.” — from “We Are Often More Treacherous Through Weakness Than Through Calculation”

In A Frog In My Throat Matt Briggs captures the private mind in action. Stream-of-consciousness assumes that language can represents thought arising from consciousness. This collection of 38 stories looks at the way the mind is a membrane that secretes thought. Language causes our awareness and determines our consciousness as it distorts, magnifies, and distorts the sense of oneself in physical space and time. A Frog In My Throat looks at calling in sick to work, jogging on an elementary school track covered in Black Cat casings on July 5th, the measure of the distance from elementary school to the front door, foot-by-foot.

Stories in the collection have appeared in Word Riot, Necessary Fictions, Semantikon, Revolting Sofa, ARCADE, The Raven Chronicles, Five Willows Review and elsewhere.

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The short short stories of Matt Briggs’ new collection are fresh and profound, knowing and naive. They borrow some of the pleasurable novelty factor the early Modernists enjoyed—Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, Raymond Roussel, Ronald Firbank, Katherine Mansfield—a delight in the materials around us, even when they’re as grim as the menus of Olive Garden. Briggs’ forte may be the processes of the body that result in signs—the wart, the mark, the rasp, the decaying tooth: throw something of that sort at him and new schools of psychology and social thought will follow. If you loved Jane Bowles and wondered what you would do when she died, Matt Briggs and his double, Steve, will teach you how to stop mourning and learn to love the sentence again. — Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess and Spread Eagle

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Matt Briggs’ oblique Kafkaesque logic creates alternative worlds that are harrowingly psychologically vivid. There is no small talk here. The croaking of a frog leads inexorably to the statistics of death, but only to discover white lies our parents told us out of convenience. Briggs provides the key to discovery.” — Koon Woon, author of The Truth in Rented Rooms and Water Chasing Water

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By turns playful and profound, Matt Briggs’ Frog in the Throat is a wondrous creature indeed. These very short stories about husbands and wives, misguided giants, failed bullies, beauty and menace, shadows and mold move seamlessly from the quotidian to the rattlingly fantastical, all the while feeling piercingly real. They are also about the act of writing itself—the willful and urgent disruption of a disrupted age. — Dawn Raffel, author of In the Year of Long Division and Further Adventures in the Restless Universe

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