I’m Trying to Reach You

It’s the summer of 2009, and the great dance icons of our time appear to be dropping like flies. First MJ, then Pina, then Merce... wtf?! Gray Adams, unlikely sleuth, must decipher a series of cryptic choreographies, YouTube comments and weird anagrammatic monikers to find the answer... before it’s too late.

Barbara Browning has written a sad, telling, comical novel about dance, performance art, the electric guitar, American identity, racial and sexual ambiguity, and the challenge of accepting the mortality of the people we love. I’m Trying to Reach You (Two Dollar Radio, 212 pp., $16) is narrated by Gray Adams, a former ballet dancer with a PhD in Performance Studies.

Gray spends a lot of time on YouTube. He’s convinced himself that a series of little chamber choreographies posted there contains clues to a murder mystery. But he’s also vaguely aware that this is probably a paranoid projection. Let’s face it, the logical explanation for Merce Cunningham’s demise was: natural causes.

Curious readers can view all the video clues at: http://www.youtube.com/AhNethermostFun/.


“Exquisite storytelling at its finest. I’m Trying to Reach You cultivates our relationship addiction with YouTube and our desire for interconnectivity while illuminating what it means to strive, cope and love with all of our heart, brain, body and soul. It is all here. Browning writes with humor, wit, grace and passion to the human purpose, mortality and the joys of existence. Start reading.” – Karen Finley

“The writing of Barbara Browning reminds me of the young, spirited Françoise Sagan whose first three novels, Bonjour Tristesse (1954), Un certain sourire (1955) and Aimez-vous Brahms? (1959), were written when she was still in her teens and early twenties and are beyond brilliantine. The film version of Bonjour Tristesse (1957) was directed by Otto Preminger starring a lovely Jean Seberg. If only Mr. Preminger were alive today to direct a filmed adaptation of Ms. Browning’s I’m Trying to Reach You. That would be granada.” – Vaginal Crème Davis

“[Browning’s] books aren’t even just books, they’re multimedia art projects. I think I love this book so much because it contains intimagions of the potential of what books can be in the future, and also because it’s hilarious.” - Emily Gould, BuzzFeed

“A provocative novel... that blurs the boundaries between life and performance, dance, art, and viral video. The novel is also framed in the world of performance art and is itself its own kind of performance... and feels rightly reflective of a moment when dance is pushing the boundaries of what constitutes a performance space.” - Julie Bloom, SLATE

“Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook-era communiqués, Browning’s newest is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.” - Publishers Weekly (*Starred*)

Author info here: http://www.barbarabrowning.info

Two Dollar Radio is distributed to the trade by

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution.

CONTACT: Eric Obenauf : 740-504-7456 / eric@twodollarradio.com

PUB. DATE: June 13, 2011 / 212 pages / $16.00 ISBN: 978-0-9832471-1-1

You can order this book from the publisher at:


Or from the wonderful Emily Books at:


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cover image of Narcissister copyright 2010 Kristy Liebowitz