Katherine Indermaur’s full-length debut, I|I, is a serial lyric essay that explores the mirror’s many dimensions —philosophical, spiritual, scientific, mythological, historical— alongside the author’s own experiences. Anyone who has struggled with the disconnect between their outward appearance and their inner self knows how fraught and fragmentary it can be to behold one’s own reflection. Indermaur’s essay, however, does more than merely problematize the contested space where the face and the mirror meet. There is also affirmation to be found here. This is a book that thinks so keenly it breaks into song.
“In fragments one might be known. Seen from dozens of angles, the mind may move among facets and see the whole. It is, in fact, how seeing works in the human brain anyhow. Katherine Indermaur’s I|I finds rich resonances among these disparate but not discrete shards. Rather a full shape in time and space assembles. Both the ‘lyric’ and the ‘essay’ are fully achieved, home is sought, the self seeks to connect with all of what is beyond.” —Kazim Ali, Judge of the 2022 Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize