D. Wystan Owen’s beautiful debut collection is a book to treasure. The ten quiet stories are linked by place, but they are also linked by Owen’s great fascination with understanding the weight of the past on the present.
The book generates considerable momentum through its short chapters and often gorgeous language, and through the always present search for understanding. It is a difficult book to put down, one whose images and ideas remain long after the read.
Ryan’s fourth novel clocks in at just under two hundred pages, and for most writers, telling the story of multiple characters in such a small space would be a challenge. But this book contains worlds. The reader is always searching for those connections, the echoes and strands that insist
There’s something so gentle about Berg, in his awareness of the world and the people around him. He cares. He has a sense of humor. He wants to turn his life around.
Excerpt: William Trevor almost always describes a character early in the story, using only a sentence or two, but getting at the essence of the character in a way that feels intimate and true. The descriptions are highly visual, often focusing on the face, but always gesturing towards characterization.
In A Lucky Man, Jamel Brinkley’s stunning debut collection, the stories are not formally linked, and yet they are, implicitly, by their beautiful prose, by their intimate gaze at character, by their focus on black men, by their setting in New York City.
The Female Persuasion never disappoints: there are twists and turns that keep us guessing, new voices to take on the storytelling task, and heartbreak as friends and lovers disappoint, deceive, and part ways.
It’s great fun to watch Ausubel’s enormous imagination at work and to share the joy that emerges from her writing. That said, the strongest, and most haunting, stories in the collection make the magical real as they examine loss.
Falling into this book and living completely in its world for a day or two may be just the right way to read it.
Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Roy is sent to prison after he and his wife Celestial have been married for less than two years.