American Reliquary

cover design by Nathan Kubes

“That’s the strange thing about age. In your mind you’re never much older. I’m not sure how my body became sixty-three without any input from me.”– Minerva in American Reliquary

After sixty-three-year-old hairdresser Minerva loses her finger and job in the span of two months, she starts researching famous Americans who allegedly lost body parts. Minnie stumbles on the biography of French actress Sarah Bernhardt, whose leg was amputated when she was seventy. Sarah continued to perform and attract young men, a story that inspires Minnie to make Sarah a role model. Minnie launches her own tour of American reliquaries, seeking out Paul Revere’s thumb, Aaron Burr’s foot, Theodore Roosevelt’s eyebrows, and Frederick Douglass’ second-to-the-last breath, as she searches for Sarah’s long-lost leg.


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