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I Once Met You But You Were Dead
by SJ Sindu

publication date: December 15, 2016


softcover, $12
(ISBN: 978-0-990903-59-8)


Winner of the 2015 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest, selected by Sara Lippmann

I Once Met You But You Were Dead is a hybrid chapbook of fiction and nonfiction that juxtaposes girlhood, womanhood, and cultural gender politics with war and violence. 

Praise for I Once Met You But You Were Dead:

"This chapbook is raw and timely and unforgettable. I love the textured layers, how the stories unfold, the jagged edges, how they push up against one another in juxtaposition and in accumulation. People ask me why I read, and my answer is for work like this: that stirs me out of my comfort zone, that upturns expectation and burrows into the deep, that grabs me by the heart and transports me, leaving me changed."

Sara Lippmann, author of LECH


"These essays, flash fictions, short stories, prose poems…who cares what you call them? The writing is brilliant, realistic, violent, and full of hope and trauma. An extraordinary richness—cultural, literary, imaginative, vital—springs from the pages of SJ Sindu’s tales. Everybody should read them."

Geoff Bouvier, author of Living Room and Glass Harmonica

"SJ Sindu's stories don't make apologies, they fire no warning shots, and they won't slow down if you can't keep up. And you'll want to—raw and singing with hard-won grace and pain that's just as prized, SJ Sindu's characters actively negotiate the violence of masculine power and chisel away at the structures they were born into."

CJ Hauser, author of The Crane Wife

SJ Sindu is a Tamil diaspora author of two literary novels (Marriage of a Thousand Lies, winner of the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award; and Blue-Skinned Gods, an Indie Next Pick and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award), two hybrid chapbooks (I Once Met You But You Were Dead, which won the Split Lip Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest; and Dominant Genes, winner of the Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook Contest), two forthcoming graphic novels, and one forthcoming collection of short stories. Sindu holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University and teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. More at or @sjsindu on Twitter/Instagram.

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