Apocalypse, Darling

Ohio State University Press: Mad Creek Books—MACHETE | February 2018


The Lammys will be awarded on Monday, June 2nd in New York City.  Congratulations to all the marvelous finalists. 


Between old and new. Set in the steel mill regions of Chicago and in Northwest Indiana, the story centers on Borich’s return to a decimated landscape for a misbegotten wedding in which her spouse’s father marries his high school sweetheart. The book is a lilting journey into an ill-fated moment, where families attempt to find communion in tense gathering spaces and across their most formative disappointments. Borich tells the story of the industrial heartland that produced the steel that made American cities, but also one of the most toxic environmental sites in the world.

As concise as a poem and as sweeping as an epic novel, Apocalypse, Darling explores the intersection of American traditional and self- invented social identities and the destruction and re-greening of industrial cityscapes. Borich asks: can toxic landscapes actually be remediated and can patriarchal fathers ever really be forgiven? In a political climate where Borich is forced to daily re-enter the toxic wastelands she thought she’d long left behind, Apocalypse, Darling is an urgent collision of broken spaces, dysfunctional affections, and the reach toward familial and environmental repair.

‘Apocalypse, Darling’ Is a Deceptively Difficult Text That Deserves Deep Consideration— in PopMatters

 Revisiting Ruin: Paul Lisicky Interviews Barrie Jean Borich

“I suddenly found myself unable to stop reading”—in New Pages.

 “The magic of Borich’s prose makes it difficult to look away”— in Lambda Literary.

“The almost poetic parallels between toxic relationships and America’s repatriated industrial wastelands.”—in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Barrie Jean Borich Explores Chicago’s Re-Wilding Industrial Corridor—the “Little Interview” in the Chicago Review of Books.

Our Wastelands: A Conversation With Barrie Jean Borich—an interview with Toni Nealie of Chicago’s New City.


“Few writers today can equal Barrie Jean Borich in channeling the unspoken languages of our culture. This narrative lyric uses its gorgeous lyricism to show us how, physically and psychically, every moment is a new country, each quietly burning with its own apocalypse.” —Susanne Paola Antonetta, author of Body Toxic and Make Me a Mother

Apocalypse, Darling shows Barrie Jean Borich at her jazz-riffng, literary canon-busting best. Here, lustrous literary forms born of post-industrial wastelands are the grounds for seeing and being seen, remembering and reinventing. Borich’s apocalyptic love song is more bracing, more beautiful, and more real than current dystopias will ever allow: a queer ecology of mind.” —Mary Cappello, author of Life Breaks In: A Mood Almanack

“On one hand Barrie Jean Borich’s remarkable Apocalypse, Darling mucks up the neat divide between reclamation and ruin, laying waste to the old binaries. On another it’s a hilarious, playful, and deeply absorbing inquiry into what it might mean to be an American right now. This is timely, dazzling work. — Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship


CLICK HERE for a SHORT READING of an excerpt from Apocalypse, Darling  that aired on Public Television in Fall 2012, while the book was still in-progress.