"This is a hell of a book! Lacy M. Johnson has thought through issues most of us do not want to think about, and she has written a powerful and deeply compassionate confrontation with violence in its most personal forms. " ~ Dorothy Allison, Author of Bastard Out of Carolina and Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
"Lacy M. Johnson’s The Reckonings is breathtaking. At the heart of this book of essays is both the body of an individual woman and the body of the world, both endlessly transgressed and yet able to endure with defiance and bold beauty. Whatever we mean when we say justice, Lacy Johnson reminds us how love must be threaded through the everything, a love that is a fierce life-force and not an apology. Here is a woman whose voice and body have moved through violence to refuse cultural inscription. Let that be song." ~ Lidia Yuknavitch, Author of The Book of Joan and The Chronology of Water
"Through prose that is at once passionate and percussive, Lacy Johnson's The Reckonings demands that we place justice and discovery at the center of our conversations, memories, imaginations, and art. I don't know that I've ever been happier to be alive after reading any book. In this weird way that probably says way too much about the smallness of my life, I felt like everything would be okay -- like we will make and sustain justice -- because a book I needed but never imagined reading was in the world. The Reckonings is as important as it is masterful on the sentence and conceptual level. The Reckonings is proof that caring about this place, and getting lost in the minutiae of what makes us unjust might actually be a pre-req for creating incredible, life-altering, just art."
~ Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
"Lacy M. Johnson's The Reckonings is an essay for thinking people, which, in an age where the essay is reduced at times to "click bait" headlines and recycled advice about dating and wellness, is the highest compliment. Johnson grapples with the fundamental issue of our time: what is justice? What is punishment? What is mercy? Johnson's beautiful writing and hard-won wisdom will make you think, and then think again. I am grateful for this book." ~ Emily Rapp, Author of The Still Point of the Turning World
"As ever, Lacy M. Johnson’s work here is ambitious and brave, and with The Reckonings she has written an essential book about what means to emerge from darkness, bounding step by bounding step. This brilliant collection of essays is a tour de force in empathy, an evocative work that invites us to consider how to make way for joy despite the unavoidable tragedies that shape our lives. With her keen eye closing the distance between the personal to the political, the constructed world and the environment, Johnson provides a compassionate vision of endurance and transformation in coming to terms with the facts of life as we now know them. Her writing engages the lyricism of poetry and the fortitude of reportage as she brings her own experiences of pain into conversation with others also still making their way despite loss." ~ Wendy S. Walters, Author of Multiply / Divide
“In lyrical and stunning prose, Lacy M. Johnson responds to our ongoing violence – environmental, racist, sexist – and dares to imagine what repair might look like. Johnson is the best kind of witness – brave, brilliant, accountable, prophetic. Her essays are urgent, riveting. I couldn’t put this book down. Reading The Reckonings reminded me it’s possible to write our way into a new world.” ~ Sarah Sentilles, Author of Draw Your Weapons