tearing at thoughts leaves me feeling exposed, for it comes from my struggle to be, to no longer exist as the living dead. Part memoir, part fiction, exploring the places in our hearts we dare not go, least we witness the abusive power of our actions and words. It is a call to wake up and to act with love in our relationships.
underneath the bruising is beauty
Through writing, art and photography I offer snapshots of unnamed lives fading from view. Where fear consumes and relationships are not dances of love and joy, but rusting fragments of abuse. What happens on those fading edges when fear is met with love? I invite you to weave yourself with the invisible and feel what happens.
tearing at thoughts is specifically concerned with the emotional expression of the human condition, mental wellbeing and the role of relationships in shaping us. Starting at the level of the individual, tearing at thoughts asks the reader to reflect on our behaviours, how we treat and label others and ourselves by our differences, to stop being fearful of these differences, and instead embrace individuality and differences with curiosity and kindness. tearing at thoughts is about awakening to the sense of who we can be rather than continuing to perpetrate the deception we live by and appear to accept without question or fight.
For underneath the bruising is beauty
Whilst tearing at thoughts lingers with the sadness of betrayal, there is also hope. A hope that by engaging authentically with ourselves and others we stop fearing difference and embrace our own sense of self. It is a call to reflect on and improve our ways of relating to one another and ourselves. This feels especially important at present considering the current social and political climate, which is becoming more divisive rather than inclusive.
The limited edition from 79 rat press sold out. The second edition, which includes an epilogue exploring the context for tearing at thoughts, is available for £5 plus postage at Amazon.
Nominated for the Guardian First Book Award 2013
“Andy Harrod fuses media more perfectly than any other writer in the UK today. Blending art, photography, conceptual typography, poetry and prose with a musical sensibility that earworms its way inside you as you read, spending time with this collection is like watching in horror and amazement a skilled surgeon take the top off your head and lay every part of your mind out in front of you. It is impossible to read this book without coming away with a profoundly changed sense of yourself.” 79 rat press, publisher of the limited edition first edition
“The tone is so intimate that, at times, the reader can feel like a voyeur, like they should look away but can’t. … This is a book that requires to be engaged with and revisited. You need to read, reflect and then return. Revisiting and further pondering will be rewarded as more and more of what Harrod is saying becomes more and more apparent. … The book is beautiful in its brevity and it is packed full of very human truth.” Anne Stormont, Guardian First Book Award 2013 Nomination
“An unapologetically candid exploration of the workings of a mind – or series of minds – turning over experiences that are rarely talked about in public. There’s a real openness about the way these collections are put together – a careful DIY layering of a variety of media in order to build a human picture that is as honest as it is unflinching. … Interestingly, Harrod’s blog is titled ‘decoding static’, and this is just what this collection attempts to do – to forge a path through the noise of a disturbed mind, exploring every diversion and dead end. … A bold collection, and a passionate one.” Rosie Breese, Sabotage Reviews
“This is not so much a book as a work of art. … The book is wonderfully presented, but what’s really innovative is the content. … Organised, beautiful chaos. … It’s a book to read by dipping into it, or by reading the chaos of emotion and living all in one go. … Go read it.” Richard Pierce, author of Dead Men
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