In Mariana Enriquez’s most recently translated story collection, people are afraid: afraid of poverty, afraid of solitude, afraid of confronting the grotesqueness of their own mistakes. One of the strings binding the collection is that again and again fear pushes the characters into committing craven acts of selfishness.
While some critics dismiss fractals as faddish or overly applied, they do offer a compelling vision of a natural world governed by order, pattern, and predictable expansion. And envisioning the world as an organized and predictable place feels mighty tempting.
Hilary Leichter’s debut novel is a shifting, surrealist tale of a young woman’s search for permanent employment that deftly captures the anguish of living inside such existential uncertainty, and more terrifying, the potential infinity of it.