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THE MORTALITY SHOT

Julia Lee Barclay-Morton

Releasing October 15, THE MORTALITY SHOT is a hybrid collection of stories, essays, and experimental stage text that meditates directly or indirectly on mortality. Julia wrote the earlier work in the collection about grieving others' deaths; more recent pieces include facing her own mortality thanks to long-haul COVID complications that landed her in the hospital.

“These stories and essays (plus a stage text) push up against heartfelt questions of life and death in ways that are complex, counter-intuitive, humorous and striking. Writing against the grain, in varying styles and intensities, The Mortality Shot goes places that so much current literature wouldn’t dare, demonstrating that real writing is always a risk and a gamble, and that only through taking such risks can we get at the things which truly matter.” 

- Jacob Wren, author of Polyamorous Love Song

 

MORE ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE MORTALITY SHOT

“The Mortality Shot by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton is a moving and evocative collection that showcases multiple genres united by a singular voice. Each story, essay, and stage text is unique, but all wrestle with profound questions of compassion - how to express it, how to direct it, and how to give it to oneself both past and present.” 

 

Ilana Masad, book critic and author of All My Mother’s Lovers

 

 

“There are myriad ways to craft a story. Most writers find one they like – or that other people like – and stick with it. Not so Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. In less than 165 pages she demonstrates what true and brilliant hybrid writing does best: expertly focuses nearly limitless narrative possibilities on singular human experiences, always making the right choices. Here you’ll find an essay about long-haul COVID in ninety-nine numbered sections; a story formatted as a choral work for multiple, dissenting voices that are really the thoughts of a single, fragmented mind; a tale told in colors — including the color of dried blood — by a young girl who is just beginning to decipher the adult world. The author, through compassion and observation, lives for a while in all these bodies, and takes dictation. And because she hears, and faithfully renders, we learn.”  

 

Sharon Mesmer, author of Half Angel, Half Lunch

 

 

“Julia Barclay-Morton writes with grace and unflinching compassion, about the sublime and elusive bits of experience that many would find inexpressible. Her words will get into your head and find their way to your heart, and your world will be richer for it.”  

 

Nick Walker, author of Neuroqueer Heresies

 

 

“Experimenting delightfully with forms and points of view, Julia Barclay-Morton has written a unique hybrid collection that movingly explores grief, abandonment, long COVID, neurodivergence, and other aspects of human vulnerability that many readers will identify with.”  

 

Sari Botton, author of And You May Find Yourself...Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo

 

 

“The Mortality Shot combines the spare lyricism of Duras with the formalistic play of Lispector.”  

 

William Lessard, Heavy Feather Review

 

 

“The Mortality Shot poignantly brings home the striking ways grief manifests itself in death and how we process it. Through exquisite storytelling, it connected with me on multiple levels. As a bibliotherapist, we are all grappling with some form of loss, whether it's death, heartbreak, estrangement or any difficult life transition - here we have literature that mirrors these losses, makes us feel understood and allows us to look at and process grief in new and refreshing ways. Plus, if you appreciate well-crafted literature then you're in for a treat! Julia Barclay-Morton elegantly explores essay, memoir and stage text to bring the themes of grief, loss, compassion, love and family in heartfelt and inventive prose and text.”  

 

Bijal Shah, author of The Happiness Mindset and (forthcoming) Bibliotherapy: How Literature Heals Us

 

 

“In its profound and meticulous attention to what feels like almost everything—childhood, mourning, grief, human cruelty, love—Julia Barclay-Morton’s The Mortality Shot bends all the rules (if there are “rules”) in pursuit of a form that will prove equal to everything she has to say. She gets there. The Mortality Shot is lucid, beautiful, and deeply, deeply affecting: “the raw stuff,” indeed.”  

 

Matthew Specktor, author of Always Crashing in the Same Car

“Julia Barclay-Morton's bold and lyrical multi-vocal meditation on life and the pressure of a limited timeline eloquently traces universal themes of choice and loss, of self-determination, and of becoming ourselves.”  

 

Sonya Huber, author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys

 

 

“To read The Mortality Shot is to follow a developing mind as it tries to find a way through love, loss and trauma, and it is a supremely moving journey.”  

 

Joanne Limburg, author of Letters to My Weird Sisters

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