A literary meditation on sex. Sam Heaps is a millennial Anaïs Nin, exploring their most intimate power struggles with a raw and artful voice.
Each partner is a new mask through which the narrator discovers themselves, creating a song through each personal essay of desire and regret — a pop melody with blues undertones. Heaps lets readers become the ultimate voyeurs, displaying nakedly what we secretly feel in our most intimate moments. Proximity brings you skin to skin with your own unspoken desires.
“Equally invested in noticing and being noticed, Heaps’s memoir achieves a statelieness that narratives about sexual reckonings rarely obtain. Ostensively a narrative of desire (and awkwardly, gutturally, blissfully, there is much of that), what emerges from their story is not a diary of titillation, but a beautiful and elegiac love story. It is an autopsy all the same—and a startling one.”—J. Howard Rosier, Board Member, National Book Critics Circle
“The ancient Greeks regarded eros as disruptive and often ruinous; a form of delirium that alights upon our lives and changes us utterly, not always for the better. In this modern age, a whole lot of us act (and write) as if there’s an eventual order, even romance of the halcyon variety, to the whole endeavor. But not Sam Heaps, who possesses the unnerving and exceptional ability to render this sort of wanting as the affliction that it really is, however much pleasure might come with it.
In Proximity, desire is hot-blooded and alive in all its delirious, wounding, ecstatic manifestations.”—Alina Pleskova, author of TOSKA and co-editor of BEDFELLOWS
Sam Heaps is a genderqueer writer, visual artist, and organizer. They are a 2022 Tin House Winter Workshop Scholar and a 2022 VCCA Fellow. You can find more of their work in Entropy, Taco Bell Quarterly, Communion Arts Journal, and many other publications. PROXIMITY is their first book. Heaps currently lives in Philadelphia, where they teach writing at the University of the Arts.
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