Defenestration Day

Andrew Hertzberg

C. opens up his window, takes a deep breath, and screams as loud as he can. He hears the responses of so many others screaming back enigmatic phrases, mysterious calls and bellows. He does this on a holiday known as Defenestration Day, a day where people throw away their words which can never be used again. The history of the first Defenestration Day has only become more complicated with time. Stories are told, truths blur, embellishments become reality. Those that claim they were there, probably weren't. The holiday has no religion or political stance or nationality. It emerged spontaneously and spread rapidly. It is most likely the only lingual holiday celebrated in the history of the world. Because only in a society where everyone already talks over one another would we decide to create a holiday devoted to doing just that.

That holiday is today. 

Andrew Hertzberg is a reader and writer living in Chicago. He self-published the short story and poetry collection The Sins of Reality/What Should I Be Doing With My Hands? in 2018. His work has been featured in Belt Publishing’s Rust Belt Chicago: An AnthologyMotley Magazine, Post-TrashMoonglasses MagazineSince I Left YouThird Coast ReviewCheat River Review, and elsewhere. He doesn’t have an MFA.

Praise for Defenestration Day: 

"Hertzberg gives us a sobering view of love and loss in a dystopian future where people exorcise their demons from apartment windows. Defenestration Day is a beautifully written account of the power our words—whether consciously or not—can have on others and ourselves." Kolin Jordan, 7Vientos Press

Defenestration Day feels like a partially macabre yet deeply personal account of a trip though purpose, pain and abject relationships. C. bangs around society, charming and offending and hiding in dark places but making noise to render the shadows he tucks away in useless. All the character read like reflections or memories of people we've all met. Every conversation, no matter if the characters are ensconced in a bedroom or drinking apprehensively at a gallery, feels like script in a film. The book has many cinematic qualities, even in its avant- garde, time jumping form, it still maintains its visceral quality due to the rich minutia of its cast. It was enjoyable sitting behind the driver seat of C., even though the narrative was the driver, I still felt a bizarre level of control, like the words, thoughts, feelings and decisions of C. were still somehow mine, which is haunting.”Adam Homer Lawson, author of Animals on Buses

"A restless, cautionary tale on the labor of consciousness and the perils of overthinking ones experience. Hertzberg anxiously shows how a writer, once in love with language, becomes tangled in its intricacies and broken by the ways it falls short." Sarah Jane Quillin, fields magazine 


AUGUST 20, 2019 | ISBN: 978-1950843053 | FICTION | PAPERBACK | 5.25 x 8 | 96 PAGES

Published by Parafine Press