Jodee Stanley, editor of Ninth Letter, blurbed about my book for the 2013 Pygmalion Lit Fest: “One of the best things about Lania Knight’s debut novel Three Cubic Feet is how movingly and accurately she portrays the experience of being young and uncertain and trying to find your way in the constricting environment of the conservative Heartland. Her protagonist is a gay teenager facing very specific difficulties, and through Knight’s smart, accessible prose readers can empathize and relate to his experience. Knight, who lives in Champaign and teaches at Eastern Illinois University, creates layered characters whose stories are at once unique and universal.”
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Three Cubic Feet is a finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award in Debut Fiction.
Tim Deters, a student at Eastern Illinois University, talked with me about Three Cubic Feet. The Daily Eastern News ran his article on August 27, 2012. Check it out here.
Mark Laughlin reviewed Three Cubic Feet on June 26, 2012, for Smile Politely, an online arts & entertainment magazine in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He interviewed me about the book and how I wrote it. He asked excellent questions about my process and how I developed the characters.
Katya Cummins reviewed Three Cubic Feet on June 23, 2012, for Niche Magazine. She says “Three Cubic Feet is a quick-paced and emotionally jam-packed novella that looks unflinchingly at distances love creates. Knight’s characters’ contradictory emotions make them instantly relatable. Though the subject matter is heavy, the writing is refreshing, easy and unassuming, not once wandering into the cliché or over dramatic. The personalities of Knight’s teenagers are so dead on that they leap off the page and straight into the imagination. Their lives are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads this book.”
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The second review of Three Cubic Feet hit papers on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Margo Dill says in The News Gazette (Champaign-Urbana), “This is one of those books that’s hard to put down. Even though Theo’s a fictional character, readers will most likely find themselves hoping that no harm comes to him while his life is spinning out of control. Maybe that’s because Knight does such an amazing job of creating a three-dimensional teenager, one who acts and reacts like an average teen.”
Shelly of Shelly’s Bookstore, an online LGBT literary blog, reviewed Three Cubic Feet on May 21, 2012. She says, “Knight’s background in writing shines here. She makes none of the mistakes many first time novelists make. She keeps the book short at 137 pages by not trying to say too much but she certainly says “enough”. You won’t feel that she’s missed anything with this story. It’s what my grandmother would have called “spot on”. Though there are a dozen or so periphery characters around our two main characters, they all add to the story without overwhelming the reader with people and points to remember – a mistake often made by 1st timers and one of my pet peeves. The writing here is tight and focused.” Read the entire review here.
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Film editor Ben Zweig made a video for Three Cubic Feet… check it out below.
Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet, Dream State, and What Gets into Us, says, “Read Lania Knight’s book because it’s compelling and direct and scathing in revealing the older generation’s cruelties toward the sexual adventures of the younger. Read it because it’s a beautifully rendered coming of age romance. But most of all, read it because, when you are done, you will know the brave, suffering hero so well that you can feel—truly, madly, deeply—exactly what he feels.”
Pedro Ponce, author of Homeland: A Panorama in 50 States, says “Lania Knight’s Three Cubic Feet reveals the complex emotional distances that must be navigated within even the greatest intimacies. With sensitivity and probing insight, she dares to map the most treacherous terrain of all–the distance between who we are and who we want to be.”
Three Cubic Feet is a story about the body–how it can be broken, how it can be violated and sometimes used to violate others. And yet, we go on. We heal, and life continues. Theo Williamson lives in Springfield, Missouri, an oppressive town hostile to change–no place for a gay teenager. His family has good intentions, but his father is recovering from a car accident, and his step-mother won’t give him a moment to himself. And Theo has guy problems. The closeted older man he seduced wants nothing to do with him, and Theo’s best friend Jonathan isn’t interested in anything more than friendship. When Jonathan’s father turns violent, Theo must decide how far he is willing to go for love.
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