Set in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, A Questionable Shape rejects the splatter and kitsch of typical genre fare in favor of meditations on the nature of consciousness and loss. It’s a zombie novel where the zombies appear only at a distance and pose little danger to Mazoch and Vermaelen, two friends who drive around the city every day, searching for an undead father and waiting for the coming hurricane to hit. With nods to Hamlet and Orpheus (not to mention Tarkovsky and Wittgenstein), Sims’s novel is a learned debut informed not just by erudition, but by nature, desire, and the persistence of memory.
Wells Tower writes: “Bennett Sims is a writer fearsomely equipped with an intellectual and linguistic range to rival a young Nabokov’s, Nicholson Baker’s gift for miniaturistic intaglio, and an arsenal of virtuosities entirely his own. A Questionable Shape announces a literary talent of genre-wrecking brilliance.”
Sims’s fiction has appeared in A Public Space, Tin House, and Zoetrope: All-Story. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he currently teaches at the University of Iowa, where he is the Provost Postgraduate Visiting Writer in fiction.