The Deep Zoo

Rikki Ducornet

Coffee House Press, 2015

Agent: Elise Capron

Within the writer's life, words and things acquire power. For Borges it is the tiger and the color red, for Cortázar a pair of amorous lions, and for an early Egyptian scribe the monarch butterfly that metamorphosed into the Key of Life. Ducornet names these powers The Deep Zoo. Her essays take us from the glorious bestiary of Aloys Zötl to Abu Ghraib, from the tree of life to Sade's Silling Castle, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to virtual reality. Says Ducornet, "To write with the irresistible ink of tigers and the uncaging of our own Deep Zoo, we need to be attentive and fearless—above all very curious—and all at the same time."


Included in Library Journal’s "25 Key Indie Fiction Titles, Fall 2014-Winter 2015"

"Ducornet’s skill at drawing unexpected connections, and her ability to move between outrage and meditativeness, are gripping to behold."
Star Tribune

"This collection of essays meditates on art, mysticism, and more; it’ll leave a reader with plenty to ponder."
Vol. 1 Brooklyn

"Rikki Ducornet's new collection The Deep Zoo is filled with smart and surprising essays that explore our connections to the world through art."
Largehearted Boy

The Deep Zoo acts as a kind of foundational text, a lens to view her work and the other essays through. . . Subversive at heart and acutely perceptive.”
Numero Cinq

"Ducornet moves between these facets of human experience with otherworldly grace, creating surprising parallels and associations. . . The Deep Zoo is a testament to her acrobatic intelligence and unflinching curiosity. Ducornet not only trusts the subconscious, she celebrates and interrogates it."
The Heavy Feather

“What struck me most about this collection, and what I am confident will pull me back to it again, is Ducornet’s obvious passion for life. She is . . .  attentive, fearless, and curious. And for a hundred pages we get to see how it feels to exist like that, what it’s like to think critically and still be open to the world.”
Cleaver Magazine

“Rikki Ducornet is imagination’s emissary to this mundane world.”
Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park

"This book is like the secret at the heart of the world; I've put other books aside."
Anne Germanacos, author of Tribute