Sleight | Coffee House Press

Sleight | Coffee House Press.

A daring novel about families, artistic responsibility, and tragedy.

The Glass Bead Game meets Black Swan.

Sisters Lark and Clef have spent their lives honing their bodies for sleight, an interdisciplinary art form that combines elements of dance, architecture, acrobatics, and spoken word. After being estranged for several years, the sisters are reunited by a deceptive and ambitious sleight troupe director named West who needs the sisters’ opposing approaches to the form— Lark is tormented and fragile, frightened by the art she is compelled to make; Clef is driven to excel.

But when a disturbing mass murder makes national headlines, West seizes on the event as inspiration for his new performance, one that threatens to destroy the very artists performing it.

In language that is at once unsettling and hypnotic, Sleight explores ideas of performance, gender, and family to ask the question: what is the role of art in the face of unthinkable tragedy?