Difficult Postures

EC native’s novel traces struggles of literary life

Mike Seitz, photos by Kelsey Smith

UP AGAINST A WALL. Prolific author and Eau Claire native Grant Maierhofer recently published his second novel, Postures.
UP AGAINST A WALL. Prolific author and Eau Claire native Grant Maierhofer recently published his second novel, Postures.

Grant Maierhofer, the Eau Claire native currently attending graduate school in Idaho, kicked off his writing career with his novel The Persistence of Crows, published in 2012. His latest novel, Postures, was a result of getting his first book published. “I wrote it while waiting and feeling hopeless that it might go anywhere,” Maierhofer told me. Postures follows a young man simply known as X, and it is a literary tale of his life as he struggles to be a writer. The novel depicts some of the depressive tendencies in writers. “Basically, Postures was my attempt at accepting the possibility of failure in writing,” Maierhofer said.

“These publishers will not break you with hammers, they’ll break it with thousands of little pricks from all directions, and slowly you’ll begin to fade, and fade, and if you cannot fight your way out of this misery, you’ll wind up locked in madness and obscurity.” This is one of X’s many inner thoughts as he struggles through the writing process. X’s life is one that involves lots of medication, uncertainty, and looking for ways to ease his misery.

“For anyone grappling with the disparity between what they’ve hoped for, and what they’ve attained, I think it could provide a comfort.” – writer Grant Maierhofer, on his new novel, Postures

As gloomy as it may be, Maierhofer’s focus on X makes him a very complete character with plenty of depth. Postures is filled with details about his character, such as when X calls himself “the world’s most rotten whistler” and continues to explain his failed attempts to produce tunes from childhood cartoons. Details like this that really make his character and the novel refreshing and stand out.

The style of Posture will also stand out to readers. It’s not a typical novel that follows a chapter-by-chapter format; instead, it follows a fragmented style that that moves from short chunk to short chunk. “The final version feels more like a treatise than a novel,” Maierhofer told me. The book is physically striking as well. Postures is small enough to fit in your back pocket and is the eighth edition in The Fellow Travelers Series by Publication Studio of Portland, Ore., a series of beautiful-looking books that attempt to challenge conventions. Maierhofer was quite honored to be included in the series, and feels that its physical presence, on top of its redeeming qualities, makes it something worth reading.

In addition to his novels, Maierhofer has produced several other volumes, including a short story collection, Marcel, earlier this year, and a poetry chapbook, Ode to a Vincent Gallo Nightingale, in 2013.

One of his biggest hopes for Postures is that it will give comfort to others who are attempting to produce something creative. Since Maierhofer wrote this during a period of uncertainty, a lot of X’s fears and anxieties mirror what he felt at the time. “For anyone grappling with the disparity between what they’ve hoped for and what they’ve attained, I think it could provide a comfort, a sort of friendship, that they’re not enduring these things without reason, and that they’re not alone in doing so,” he said.

Grant Maierhofer’s latest novel, Postures, is available online at www.publicationstudio.biz/books.

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