The Remnants

by Robert Hill

Praise for The Remnants

Reviews, Articles and Interviews

Poets & Writers: Small Press Points column

PosLit Review, January 8, 2016

Bookish Tendencies, “Lusting After Early 2016 Releases”

Book People’s Book Club Corner, recommending The Remnants to book clubs

It’s Either Sadness or Euphoria, review, Feb. 29

Harlem Valley News, “Robert Hill, a West Coast Author with Local Ties, Visits Oblong on March 29”

Reviews by Amos Lassen, March 4

Speaking Freely with Sheila Hamilton

Writing Under Pressure, Interview with Robert Hill, March 9

Powell’s Blog: Essay, “From Apple Trees and a Disembodied Voice, a Dying World Comes Alive”

Lit Reactor: Bookshots Column

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

We Wanted to Be Writers: Excerpt

Northwest Book Lovers: Interview with Gina Ochsner

Shelf Awareness, featured photo

Fiction Writers Review: Review by Julian Anderson

The Rumpus: Review by Mary Vessel White

Podcast, Westport Library event, Westport, CT

The Weston Forum, feature story on hometown author

She Treads Softly, review

Featured Staff Picks placement, Powell’s City of Books, April 2016

Distributed as part of Late Night Library’s April Book Club package

Featured book, LGBTQ Sr.

Between the Covers: Interview with Kathleen Stephenson, KBOO.

Northwest Book Lovers, Face Out featuring the quote by Dianah Hughley of Powell’s

Powell’s Midyear Roundup: Best Books of 2016 So Far

The Rumpus


Christie Craig Review and Q&A


​Bookpeople's Blog, March Book Club Corner selection

Bookish Tendencies, “Lusting After Early 2016 Releases”​

Goodreads Review


PosLit Review

“Reading The Remnants reminded me of Pound’s conviction ‘that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.’ Robert Hill bridges this gulf even more directly, writing sentences that not only sing but dance, full of whisks and sways and sprightly little sidesteps of language. How would they look, I began to wonder, if you diagrammed them? Like pinwheels, I imagine. Like reworks. Try to fasten them down and they’d still keep moving.”
– Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination

“Bold, brilliant, and touching, The Remnants is a eulogy for a world in which humanity is treasured—a celebration of life in all its imperfect glory.”
– Rene Denfeld, author of The Enchanted

“What a lyric and wild romp of language, life, love. Reading The Remnants reminded me why I love to read, why I love to write.”
– Gina Ochsner, author of The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight and The Hidden Letters of Velta B.

“Nobody wants to be compared to James Joyce. Especially, I’d imagine, Robert Hill. So I won’t. But in Hill’s novel, The Remnants, like Leopold Bloom, Kennesaw Belvedere wakes up one ne morning and goes forth into his beloved city. Along his way, worlds open up into worlds, stories beget stories beget stories, and characters live and breathe and die of just about every ailment in the almanac. Really you wonder how you can go on with all the living and the breathing and the dying, but Hill’s language is such a thing of rare beauty that you love every moment. And when Hunko finds Kennesaw, and Molly and Leopold are yes, of all the brilliant moments in the novel, there’s one final brilliant moment, one perfectly still moment, when all is well in a decaying world. If you love language and if you love narrative and if you love stories, don’t pass up The Remnants.”
– Tom Spanbauer, author of The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon

“Hill’s characters are so precisely written, they feel as real as you and me, despite the generations of inbreeding, which have left them somewhere off the ‘normal’ scale. Yet, these folks love and hope and yearn like the rest of us, and their stories are magical. Hill has the silver tongue of a master wordsmith. His gorgeous prose rambles from hilarious to sly to clever, and then doubles back so it can dive right off into beautiful, heartsick and poignant. A standout story with unbelievably effective prose, The Remnants is one of my favorite 2016 titles.”
– Dianah Hughley, bookseller, Powell’s City of Books

“Wholly unexpected and unique, Hill tells his bewitching telling of the last days of a small town and its few remaining genetically compromised residents with wordplay that belies the power of connection, memory, and community.”
– Elisa Saphier, lead bookseller, Another Read Through

“As to the meaning of this novel, with its sentences coiling around themselves like a celtic knot, I think it comes down to this: it’s a book about that most primal of urges, the urge to procreate. In The Remnants that urge runs amuck. It de es the boundaries humans have placed upon it in order that the species might not turn in upon itself. That urge carries with it the desire for connection, for a bond with another human, the two urges inextricably wound around each other, and in New Eden the possibilities are so limited that the distinctions between one family and the next have all but disappeared. The genetic results are of course calamitous, and the emotional consequences are littered across the novel’s landscape. To turn too far inward, the novel tells us, is to invite disaster.”
– Stevan Allred, author of A Simplified Map of the Real World

“Such extravagant, rambunctious delicious language! And a sad and wonderful story of the end of the town of New Eden and its inbred and lyrical inhabitants. I have never read a book like this before. It defies genre.”
– Cindy Heidemann, Field sales, Legato Publishers Group

Praise for Robert Hill’s When All Is Said and Done (Graywolf Press, 2006)

“Every aspect of this agile, intoxicating, hilarious, and poignant novel is compelling, but what elevates it is the exuberant language. Hill writes with velocity, rhythm, and wit, conveying a world of subtle emotions and social nuance in brilliantly syncopated inner monologues and staccato dialogue, creating a bravura and resounding performance.”
– Donna Seaman, Booklist

“With evocative, freewheeling prose (‘the run-on sentences that were her married life’), Hill . . . nimbly salvages one family’s striving from an era of grasping and consumerism.”
– Publishers Weekly

“Truly the most enjoyable, evocative prose I’ve come across in new fiction in quite a while.”
– City Pages

“When All Is Said and Done is a fresh, high-velocity cry from the heart, showing that love is the rose and the thorn at once, and that Mr. Robert Hill has taken a running start into what they used to call the literary scene.”
– Ron Carlson, author of A Kind of Flying

“This is a witty, generous, heartbreaking book which seeks . . . ‘the common green in our beings’––and finds it.”
– Barbara McMichael, The Olympian

“Lively and quirky and effervescent with beautiful, unpredictable language and fresh details. A novel of an incredible vitality, original and vibrating, of a superb unforeseeable and detailed writing to the extreme.”
– Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story

“In flitting seamlessly from the mundane details of daily life to broader questions of love, family, priorities, and death, the author has created a startlingly realistic depiction of the way the mind functions.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“Hill’s novel is strong for all that it does say, and all that it leaves to the reader’s imagination. There’s something poetic in the best of ways about the way that the lines and language unfold. This book reminds me of Cheever and Yates and a young Rick Moody.”
– A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven

“Not many writers will risk burying a gem like ‘memory is such a sloppy librarian’ in the middle of a paragraph. Not so Robert Hill. In his lovely first book . . . there’s hardly a neutral sentence in sight.”
– Nell Beram, Harvard Review

“From the first glorious sentence to the last astounding word, Robert Hill’s When All Is Said and Done is a treasure. The so- phisticated wit and luxurious language of this brilliant novel weave a story of one family’s complex heart and history and their journey through 1950s/60s suburban Connecticut and all its prejudices. Read this American saga and weep.”
– Tom Spanbauer, author of I Loved You More

“Out of nowhere comes Robert Hill’s When All Is Said and Done, a swift, moving novel of the 1950s from a man who has been writing advertising copy in Portland, Oregon, for twenty years. Its form resembles the alternate first-person accounts of a troubled relationship in Julian Barnes’s Talking It Over; in its his- torical shimmer, it recalls Richard Yates’s increasingly beloved Revolutionary Road. . . . Reading Mr. Hill’s debut novel reminds us how usual most novels are; his is unusual, but not unsettling or obviously weird. Perhaps it is simply the work of an individual who has been minding his own business in Portland.”
– Benjamin Lytal, The New York Sun

“A snappy, palatable iteration of modernism, too earnest and heartfelt to be called postanything.”
– Patrick Somerville, Bookshop Bibliosurf

“Exuberant as a rhythmic song, the rst novel by Robert Hill is not only smart, it is brilliant, stylish, and offers not a novel but a dramatic existential novel.”
– Jean Soublin, Le Monde

“His is the sort of book which you find yourself wanting to write down passages of particular grace––only to realize that alone, they appear unremarkable. It’s in context of this affecting book that each scene is so striking. . . . Above all, it’s a love story, one complicated with careers and children and growth and stagnancy: completely mundane and completely extraordinary.”
– Molly Templeton, Eugene Weekly

“Simultaneously prosaic and breathtaking, All’s Well That Ends (French translation) is the first novel of a great writer in the tradition of Raymond Carver.”
– Payot & Rivages