Josh Bell

Josh Bell teaches at Harvard, is the recipient of an NEA grant, and is the author of two poetry collections, Alamo Theory and No Planets Strike.

The Houseboat Veronica

Straddling the line between horror and beauty, Bell’s mythologically time-stellar protagonists … are at once original, poetic, and viscerally immaterial.

Vi Khi Nao

The Houseboat Veronica

Josh Bell

Beautiful Soon Enough, by Margo Berdeshevsky (FC2, 2009)

2024

Quality Paper
ISBN 978-1-57366-204-8

EBook
ISBN 978-1-57366-906-1

The mysterious houseboat Veronica motors across a postapocalyptic freshwater lake, inhabited by a black-haired witch and her young male ward. They explore an unfolding world of shape-shifting moons, vampire moths, and submerged witch cemeteries — a world where voluntary imprisonment holds its own appeal and the heart yearns for the delicate dance between blood and power, beauty and terror.

Neither a pirate nor a mere witch, she is an artist, a master of water and time who shapes reality with her baffling powers. This lyrical and compelling novel beckons readers to explore the enigmatic depths of its prose, inviting them to traverse the waters of wonder and bewilderment. Embrace the bewitching allure of The Houseboat Veronica and lose yourself in its enchanting embrace.

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Moth, moon, masturbation, meteor, murder: these are the elements that set Josh Bell’s exquisitely esoteric The Houseboat Veronica sailing through its black-haired, witch-charmed gales. Straddling the line between horror and beauty, Bell’s mythologically time-stellar protagonists, riddled with tabooed sexual desires and psychedelic insect cigarettes, are at once original, poetic, and viscerally immaterial. A book your mind’s heartbeat won’t forget.

Vi Khi Nao, author of Suicide: The Autoimmune Disorder of the Psyche

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The diamond-pointed, rapture-wrought prose in this alluringly darkled erotic fantasia conducts the reader into the lucid dreamery of a nautical counterworld wherein “the day had a pelt, the night sometimes had scales.” The Houseboat Veronica is a seductive visionary debut in fiction from a singular poet.

Garielle Lutz, author of Worsted

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A dark surrealistic tale of shape-shifting characters and striking imagery: a compelling read.

Stanley Crawford, author of Seed and Intimacy