Arborescent sparkles from the very first page with brilliant, funny, and provocative prose, showing not only Marc Lynch's luminous skill with fiction as a genre but an artistry with language that raises this work into the echelons of fine poetry. Lynch has written one of those rare novels where as a reader you'll miss the book when you finally reach the ending - the world he has written here is so layered and vivid, the characters and their relationships and tribulations so entrancing, you won't want to leave. This is a lovely and powerful book.
By Will Fawley
Marc Herman Lynch’s debut novel, Arborescent, is a magical romp through a strangely familiar world. The novel is set in a fictional version of Calgary called Moh’kins’tsis, which isn’t a made up name or place at all, but the traditional Blackfoot name for the region. In this city where true names are spoken, Lynch conjures the otherworldly and mysterious aesthetic of classic writers like Kafka and Murakami, or to use a contemporary Canadian example, Suzette Mayr’s Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall.
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By Anne Logan
[T]his book challenged me in a positive way, because although there were unexplainable occurrences, I still felt rooted to reality through the impressive characterization, which is truly the highlight of this book.
A lyrical, psychedelic exploration of our connection to our cities, ourselves, and to nature. A man becomes a tree, a girl becomes a ghost, and a world traumatized by climate chaos undergoes pained transformation. Marc Herman Lynch might be Canada's Murakami, and his debut is vibrant, timely, and wildly imaginative.
Marc Herman Lynch's debut pulsates with fecund magic, the Western Canadian landscape creeping and growing into the bodies of its human settlers, exploding them, taking root in them, masking and multiplying them. Lynch is a writer to watch, one whose kaleidoscopic lens brings the hidden into view, exposing once-familiar places as strange, seething with life, death, and everything in between.
Beautifully bizarre, bleakly hilarious, and a teensy bit frightening, this is a truly original novel about the Asian immigrant experience. Lynch is a natural storyteller, spinning otherworldly prose into a creepily delicious tapestry, merging threads of the unexpected with strange and astonishing elements of fairy tale and mythology. Arborescent is at once unsettling, immersive, and dream-like. A unique and marvelous debut.
Marc Lynch’s debut novel, Arborescent, is an intricately woven intertext that epically reimagines Yotsuya Kaidan in the prairie lands of Treaty 7. Find three characters, Nohlan Buckles, Hachiko Yoshimoto, and Zadie Chan, whose stories braid together in their shared setting of Cambrian Court. Each experiences disembodiment—albeit in the form of a vengeful yūrei, the tree of life, or a tattooed mise-en-abyme—in such a way that Lynch asks us to ponder why the word body is such a necessary odyssey? I am reminded of Toni Morrison’s Beloved in the way Lynch animates a home, of Marian Engel’s Bear through his spindling webbing of genre, and of Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie in his ability to capture the limitations of the human vessel. Lynch has a philosophical ear for language and an overwhelming love for the “lush smell of nouns” as he interrogates magnitude, size, and scale: here, even a fish’s bladder becomes a lens from which to see the world queerly anew. A gorgeous debut, Arborescent and its ponderings of annihilation, astrology, embodiment, and the Anthropocene, is fated to enter the literary scene ablaze.