Buy the Book
- ISBN: 978-0-8142-5804-0, $19.95 Paperback
- Ohio State University/Mad Creek Books (pre-order, expected release date October 2021)
About the Book
This is an attempt to write a book-length essay about a single day, from start to finish. Inside the container of the day in which I go to court for a civil disobedience action are flashbacks to the action itself (more on that below). I’ve wanted to try this since I read Nicholson Baker’s novel The Mezzanine, which was a snapshot of quotidian moments. Other novels from James Joyce to Virginia Woolf also attempt this mind-watching, which was a feature of modernist interest in consciousness. There are a few examples in nonfiction, like Karl Ove Knaussgard’s six-volume My Struggle, but none that I could find that were specifically within a day. I was also very much inspired to do this by Ander Monson and the crew at Essay Daily, which did two very very cool huge projects, What Happened, where they invited people to all write essays about the same day in June 2018 and then again in December 2019. It was so fun! You can read a bunch of the selections on their website.
From Ohio State Press…
“I think we have to get to the real, to catch the facts we have, to hold on to what we see. . . .in this time where lies are currency,” Sonya Huber writes in her book-length essay Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day. On the theory that naming the truths of quotidian experience can counter the dangerous power of lies, she carefully recounts two anxiety-fueled days one fall. On the first, she is arrested as part of a climate protest in Times Square. On the other, she must make it to her court appearance while also finding time to take her son to get his learner’s permit. Paying equal attention to minor details, passing thoughts, and larger political concerns around activism and parenting in the Trump-era United States, Huber asks: How can one simultaneously be a good mother, a good worker, and a good citizen? As she reflects on the meaning of protest and on whiteness and other forms of privilege within political activism, Huber offers a wry, self-aware, and stirring testament to the everyday as a seedbed for meaningful change.
Please feel free to contact me to schedule a free “Day-In Event.” More info here.
What About the Climate Crisis?
This book centers around a protest organized by a group called Extinction Rebellion started in the UK and with chapters all over the world. For more information on that group, their accomplishments and strategies, click here. You can also support the work of XR with a donation. A portion of my speaking fees and royalties will be donated to XR.
“Huber embodies Montaigne’s proverbial ‘runaway horse mind’ as she adopts an unwavering split stance as both freethinker and keen observer, unapologetically acknowledging her own unruly yet intriguing mental patterns. I felt like a piece of wood drifting across the ocean, pleasurably caught in waves of sentences bumping me from one idea to another and making me reluctant to return to shore.” — Adriana Páramo, author of Unsent Letters to My Mother
“It’s hard not to be impressed with the ambition of Sonya Huber’s Supremely Tiny Acts. A day can be made to encapsulate almost everything: the minor (the simple joy of half-and-half) and the major (looming climate catastrophe, parenthood, sexual violence, and what we owe to one another). It’s a thrill when Huber pulls it off.” — Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer: Essays
Press & Reviews
“Supremely Tiny Acts: A New, Inventive Book from OSU Alumna,” College of Arts & Sciences, The Ohio State University, Nov. 2, 2021
“Huber’s skill shines in her capacity to wind these stories into meaningful narratives when they are presented as the incidental thoughts that pass through one’s mind throughout the day. Like those threads of narrative, Huber also includes delightful, engrossing descriptions that appear as observations throughout the day.” — Linda Levitt, Pop Sugar, Nov. 29, 2021
“As I closed the book’s cover, gathering all of Sonya’s work into one hand, I realized that the title, Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day, ended up being a prophecy: the form of a day-long memoir becoming a powerful, supremely tiny act, for Sonya and for the reader. It revealed the power of form to expose the secret waves of trauma, how they trough and crest around the other parts of our lives….The most courageous nonfiction that I’ve read in a long while, allowing the scrappy details of a single day to open into personal surprises.” —Emily Dillon, Brevity, Dec. 20, 2021
“Applying modernist techniques of narrative time bending and stream-of-consciousness syntax, she’s a politically-charged, twenty-first century Mrs. Dalloway.” —Kelly Kathleen Ferguson, The Cleveland Review of Books, Jan. 13, 2022.
“Virtuosic…Huber couldn’t pull any of this off if she didn’t display 1) the perfect combination of seriousness and humor, 2) a gift for language, and 3) a storytelling sense….Huber’s book works like many of our great contemporary memoirs do, but on a miniature scale. And Huber manages somehow to be a miniaturist with a maximalist’s heart. ” —Sebastian Matthews, River Teeth, Jan. 7, 2022
“There are those words again, TINY and ACTS, that make up a life of being very conscious, very concerned….The acts written with strength and clarity will make you want to live within.” Kathryn McCord’s review-essay on Essay Daily, Jan. 24, 2022.
Interview with Amy Fish, Hippocampus Magazine, Dec. 6, 2021
Creative Nonfiction Podcast Interview with Brendan O’Meara, in which we wonder whether I’m the Weird Al of CNF and swear a lot. Brendan generously calls Supremely Tiny Acts “one of the best experiences I had reading a book in 2021.” Dec. 2021.
Drunken Odyssey: A Podcast about the Writing Life with John King, Episode 507, in which we talk about activism, reality and tangents from it, and storytelling. Jan. 22, 2022.
More Good Stuff
Here’s a Spotify playlist to go along with the book, including some political favorites and a few songs I mention in the book.