<write-or-perish!> | author | lecturer | artist | paused-traveler | paleo-pescatarian | doom-sludge metallurgist



Ignatius earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University. He is a lecturer in writing, a designer, and musician, and author of the novel Fishhead. Republic of Want (Tortoise Books, 2020) and The Imaginal Stage, a doom/sludge metal album by WOOND, his studio project on Mental Illness Recordings, Iowa City. Ignatius was selected as a 2020-21 Creative Writing Fellow  by the Ludington Writers Board and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts in Michigan. He serves as a judge for the Evanston Arts Council’s 2020-21 Cultural Fund Grants Applications, and is on the curatorial board at Ragdale Foundation. Ignatius was a featured July 2020 author for Ragdale’s By-and-for-Artists Series. He is also co-curator of Sunday Salon Chicago, a bi-monthly literary reading event series in Chicago. Ignatius lives with his wife in Evanston, IL and is currently at work on his next novel and album. Visit him at woond.bandcamp.com, or on social media.


Amidst the teeming tenements of 1970s Bombay (Mumbai), a hungry teenage boy struggles through life in a poverty-stricken family ruled by

a domineering alcoholic father, when suddenly he faces another challenge: the affections of an upper middle class girl. In this exploration of poverty and pleasure, patriarchy and tragedy,  Fishhead’s titular narrator must search for ways to bridge the gap between two seemingly irreconcilable worlds: the life he longs to live, and the one chosen for him by Destiny.


This debut was released during the Covid period on May 12, 2020 by indie Chicago publisher Tortoise Books (www.tortoisebooks.com). An early book launch event took place at the end of January at Women & Children First Bookstore.


"...a deeply thoughtful, ambitious, and lyrical debut from a writer to watch."

~Naeem Murr, author of The Perfect Man, winner of The Commonwealth Writers' Prize for

the Best Book of Europe/South Asia, and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.


"This ambitious and lyrical coming-of-age novel features an engrossing metafictional framework. Its compelling focal character is a young Indian man who grows up in impoverished circumstances but manages to transcend his humble origins, and along the way, he falls in love for the first time and encounters many people and situations that challenge his perceptions of himself and the wider world.
This is a remarkably insightful, deeply imagined and humane novel."

~Christine Sneed, award-winning author of Little Known Facts, The Virginity of Famous Men, and Paris, He Said.


Order Fishhead. Republic of Want at your local bookstore. It is also available on Amazon, Indiebound, and Tortoise Books direct.

First Edition Paperback.

420 pages.

ISBN 978-1-948954-11-2

$19.99. 5.5 x 8.5