Prose, paperback, 424 pages, from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
A family attempting to adopt a second child amid its dissolution. A 12-year-old navigating the onset of an emerging psychological disturbance spurred by the scrutiny of the adoption process. Family Album depicts the battleground of a son’s identity forming in language, as it processes what one disordered personality bequeaths to another.
"In Family Album we watch a boy being slowly unraveled by his collapsing parents, the only questions being how or if he’ll survive the damage, and if he’ll still be human when he makes it to the other side. An exacting, exquisite and merciless book brimming with expectant dread."
"By turns manic and mathematical, maudlin and gut-wrenching, and delivered with an emotional intensity somewhere between Evan Dara and Dennis Cooper, Jason Snyder’s Family Album manages to construct an exhaustive experience of youth and trauma in uncompromising style. A truly heavy hitter that couldn’t have come at a more necessary time."
"Family Album is a haunting chronicle of the ways we are bound and coerced by blood, longing, suffering, fear. A fresh distortion, and a brave debut."
"Like most great novels, Family Album is ambitious for the form itself—what can the novel accomplish? The family remains our national forum, and Jason Snyder has found a way to reveal the family as a fun house of mirrors—not just ruin, but endless ruin. Not just distance, but distance endlessly fragmented. His writing is at once analytical—even artificial—and yet amazingly compassionate, with a current of pure grief running through. Family Album reminds me of a baroque opera, exquisite and horrifying, with arias and recitatives, refinements and bloodbaths."
"Wherever love means to lie and words aren’t for speaking and pain is how you’re known, family is taking form, and its emergence is Jason Snyder’s work. Family Album is not about a boy’s refusal of his parents’ banal rage. It’s about meaning’s freedom from nothing’s grip."
Jason Snyder is the author of the novel Family Album and the founding editor of Sidebrow Books. His fiction has appeared in The Collagist, Sleepingfish, Harp & Altar, American Letters & Commentary, and The New York Tyrant. He works as an editor and lives in Portland with his wife and twins.