About the author:
Jan Ramjerdi is a writer, teacher, and former econometrician. She is a professor of creative writing at California State University, Northridge. She lives in Hollywood. This is her first novel.
RE.LA.VIR renders rape through the narrative filter of an online hypertext program. Juxtaposing savvy technical language and graphic scenes of sexual violence, the novel creates an alternative techno fictive space for representing lived experience.
The pages of RE.LA.VIR are the scrolling text of a computer screen, as transitory and erasable as the body of the raped woman. RE.LA.VIR reenvisions her, offering the female speaker a wider range of voices and positions to act from than is allowed in traditional rape narrative.
"RE.LA.VIR is a fierce, gorgeous, even astonishing work that uses the languages of new technology and post-narrative fiction to create a novel so in league with the poetics of sexual preoccupation, and so physically luscious and advanced, it makes even the best of Acker, Guyotat, and Burroughs seem like Balzac." —Dennis Cooper
"Jan Ramjerdi's RE.LA.VIR is a book whose innovative treatment of story, typography, and author/character relationship are used in the service of the unspeakable - in this case, the unspeakability of rape." —Larry McCaffery
"Jan Ramjerdi works in a nexus that connects, among other things, Gertrude Stein, hypertext, and the rhetoric of contemporary feminisms - all informed women's experiences. What might in another writer be dogged honesty and modish postmodernism is in Ramjerdi's fiction an absolutely incandescent and revelatory performance that goes beyond the transgressive and into a world where startling forms and intense feelings are in perfect union." —Eugene Garber
The woman is arriving by train. She is here to replace you. Ten women are arriving by train. They are here to replace you. They arrive one by one at the wrought iron gate. They are deposited at the station by some intermittent engine that like the snowplow experiences engine difficulty. It starts. It stops. It starts. It stops. It is an erratic progression through an unfamiliar landscape which appears sometimes lunar in its desolation, sometimes cracked pavement abandoned long enough ago that weeds have had time to grow foot high between the cracks, sometimes wind-born dust or snow blows up in funnel-shaped clouds obscuring the traveler's view of her passage so that it is hard to say if it is one long passage or one long steady climate in a jar. The storms are of indeterminate length, even the progress of the sun is obscured so that night is indistinguishable from day, and the traveler who has been etching her face on the window for some sign of human habitation, a station, a house, a fence post, a cat, sees in the window only her own lines in a piece of glass, visible writing suggesting nothing, thinks it is during these times that what she is here to replace exists at some station, but she missed it.