Fiction. Winner of the 2014 Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel. “The book’s title, ‘Return to Circa ’96,’ caught my attention right off. Themes of memory, time travel, and so forth were evoked. Then the visual appeal was quite marked (my professional and personal interests tilt in favor of scripto-visual works). The ‘data-base aesthetics’ (Lev Manovich) aspect of the work gave it a very contemporary Web 2.0 kind of technological relevance, which meshed well with the book’s meta- fictional construction. These conceptual art-ish and surfictional elements lured me into the book. The library-as-a-framing-device, situating events within a repository of texts, hit a responsive chord given my own autodidactic / academic propensities. I felt at home in the text. The producer’s mixtures of modalities of writing, a ‘mulligan stew’ of different textualities, were attributes of the kinds of works I read and re-read most often. Finally, the book was funny. It not only gave that ‘writerly’ jouissance touted by literary theorist Roland Barthes, but also the plaisir of a ‘readerly’ text. In short, in opening Mr. Sawatzki’s book, it was as if I’d found a long-lost friend.”—James R. Hugunin
About the Author
Bob Sawatzki’s first professional credit was a story published in the Seattle Times Sunday Magazine. He has published fiction and non-fiction in literary journals, including Weber Studies, and alt-papers, such as Salt Lake City Weekly, along with editorials in mainstream newspapers including The Ogden Standard-Examiner and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has served on the Utah Arts Council Literary Committee, and his book RETURN TO CIRCA ’96 won the 2005 Utah Original Writing Competition and the 2014 Kenneth Patchen Award for Innovative Novel. He supports his writing habit by working at The Weber County Library, Ogden, Utah.