In Kali’s Day, a dysfunctional Manhattan family—cross-dressing father, pot-dealing stepmother and thrill-seeking, graffiti-artist daughter—go on a trip to Nepal, where they take
different spiritual paths, some leading to insanity and prison, others to sainthood.
“This is a beautiful novel populated with characters that have nothing more to give of themselves than everything, and at all times. Kali’s Day travels exquisitely through (desperate) straits of violence, sex, sensuality, addiction, depravity, transcendental awakenings and physical transformations.
The writing is passionate and precise. Bonny Finberg has crafted a pulsating and vibrantly alive place
for all of us to dwell.” — Donald Breckenridge, author of This Young Girl Passing and You Are Here, and Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail.
“When it comes to characters, Finberg has a way of dangling the most enticing before our eyes—eccentric originals we’ve only glimpsed on the street. Androgynous, drug-taking, bohemian or transient—their lives are lived beyond the reach of us mere mortals, beguiling our imaginations but depressing us with the thought that we’ll never be interesting enough to know them. Then, suddenly, in prose full of natural vitality and sly narrative strategies, whether at home or in Nepal, these characters disrobe for us, revealing the desires, fantasies, jealousies, illnesses, dreams and experiments in pleasure that have
sculpted their freaky personae; and even more surprisingly, some even achieve a certain spirituality, as others spiral into madness. Kali’s Day is rich with unpredictable adventure in exotic localities, concocted by a writer at the top of her craft.” — Bruce Benderson, author of The Romanian: Story of an Obsession.
“Kali’s Day arrived during a jam packed work/family week. I glanced at the opening lines and, despite heavy obligations, could not put it down. Finberg takes the reader on a riveting voyage. What’s astonishing is the way she weaves ideas, spirit, subterfuge, passions, dependence, humor, frailty and transcendence so beautifully into her text. Kali’s Day is timeless and current at once.” — Lynn Crawford, author of Simple Separate People, Two (Black Square Editions).
“Reading Bonny Finberg’s novel is like riding off with the Wizard in his hot air balloon — down below may be the scorched earth of Kansas, but somehow her eyes make it Oz. A breath of fresh air that whips up a tornado.” — Bob Holman, author of Picasso in
Barcelona and Director of the Bowery Poetry Club.
“Bonny Finberg has been one of my favorite erotic and bohemian voices since I first published her in Best American Erotica.” — Susie Bright, Editor of Best American Erotica series.
About the Author
Bonny Finberg’s fiction, poetry and photographs are included in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her work has been translated into French, Hungarian and Japanese. Her publications include a short story collection, How the Discovery of Sugar Produced the Romantic Era, (Sisyphus Press, NY) and a poetry chapbook with the author’s photo collages, Déjà Vu (Corrupt Press, Paris). Finberg has been published in the Best American Erotica series, edited by Susie Bright (Simon & Schuster, NY) and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, edited by Alan Kaufman (Thundersmouth Press, NY.). She frequently contributes to Sensitive Skin magazine and A Gathering of the Tribes. Her work has been archived in the New York University Library in the Fales collection. She lives in New York City and is working on her second novel.
Bonny Finberg –
Kali’s Day By Bonny Finberg
An Autonomedia/Unbearable Book, 2014
Bonny Finberg’s Kali’s Day is an odd combination, a melancholy, picaresque spinning prayer wheel of a novel, almost contemporary and nearly timeless. It has echoes both of the druggy sojourns of William S. Burroughs and the Himalayan visits of the early Theosophists and their putative encounters with Koot-Hoomi. We hear chapters from a clutch of inter-related characters, more or less stuck together like Velcro at times despite deep antipathy. It is in some ways an absorbing late-20th-century New York City knock about memoir, and a far ranging spiritual quest undertaken by the terminally dispirited. In other words, it has everything, not stinting the erotic prose that Finberg is somewhat noted for. It faces the challenge, how do you chronicle a descent into madness when you are not all that together to begin with?
As one narrator, Henry, puts it, “I’m heading for parts unknown, or are parts unknown heading for me?” Another, Candice, says “I like to get lost and find my way back.” And later “I try to remember what it was about despair that once seemed so fascinating.”
No one here is merely out for a good time, just as well, and they all seem to have begun their quests from an academic premise: Henry being the Einstein of conspiracy theories as well as a language savant, his daughter Stella a college student trying to survive her eccentric upbringing, and Eastern scholar Candice who emerges as the principal narrator, fiercely intelligent yet oblivious to the chaos she causes. The story moves to various remote parts of the subcontinent and details encounters with a wealth of characters, all up to their navels in some hustle or other, holy or otherwise. The constant motion of this moving cast gives a steady transcendental rhythm to the book as they circle the drain of their destiny and keep the bugs at bay.
As a card-carrying Unbearable, Finberg can be depended upon to make her writing as serious as a heart attack and as unpredictable as a catastrophe while entertaining the discriminating reader handsomely.
–Kevin Riordan, Sensitive Skin http://sensitiveskinmagazine.com/kalis-day-by-bonny-finberg-a-review/