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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Once You Go Back
Book cover for Once You Go BackBook cover for Once You Go Back

In 2000, Douglas A. Martin burst onto the American literary scene with his sexy debut novel, Outline of My Lover. Following up with three more books, including Branwell, a novel of the Brontë brother, Martin has established himself as an acclaimed and distinctive American writer of the new century. His semi-autobiographical novel Once You Go Back is about growing up in a strained working-class household transplanted to the South. In his inimitably elliptical and evocative style, Martin carefully brings out the curiosity of children on the verge of becoming sexual, and their confusion in the midst of family violence.

Book cover for Once You Go Back
Book cover for Once You Go BackBook cover for Once You Go Back

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“The training wheels come off in Douglas A. Martin's latest novel, Once You Go Back, a coming-of-age tale that pedals through the trappings of childhood and adolescence with grace … Martin's intense, unhindered prose style renders his characters' degrees of growth and alienation all the more powerful.”

“A gripping story about trust, family, loneliness, and displacement … This novel is for anyone who ever felt lonely, for anyone who ever felt like they did not belong.”

“… A poignant and semi-autobiographical novel … Martin's highly poetic writing style is an example of high-brow literature in its prime.”

“There is a reverence in Douglas Martin's writing composed of equal parts language and love.”

“Lonely, understated and heart-breaking, Once You Go Back will haunt you like a familiar face that has emerged and then fallen back into a dream.”

“[Outline of My Lover] is full of hard-won, fraught, unsparing emotional truth. It is a love story between a raw and damaged boy-narrator and a famously mysterious rock star. But more than that, it is a piece of stylish and ferociously sharp prose. I love its fierce concentration and levels of obsession.”

Douglas Martin

Douglas A. Martin is the author of Branwell; Outline of My Lover (selected by Colm Tóibín as International Book of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement); They Change the Subject, a book of stories; and In the Time of Assignments, a book of poetry. Born in Virginia in 1973, and raised in Georgia, he now lives in New York City.