I’m back, from an actual geographical place this time, not just a morass of apathy. Though I attempted to bring sea-themed music for our drives during this trip to the land of fired seafood and National Park beaches, I did not feel like towing around books of a nautical nature. Instead I brought two novels but ignored them in favor of the stories in Conjunctions 52: Betwixt the Between: Impossible Realism.
Everything I’ve read so far has been at least good. Some have been great, including Karen Russell’s downright scary "Dowsing for Shadows," Julia Elliott’s festering "Feral" and Stephen Marche’s exurbian fiction "The Personasts: My Journeys through Soft Evenings and Famous Secrets." The only one I’ve been disappointed in so far is Elizabeth Hand’s "Hungerford Bridge," which features her usual cast of charismatic middle-agers with secrets and willing foils, ready to have their eyes opened (and possibly scalded). It was fine, I guess, but nothing, not even the result of a mysterious dinner and incomprehensible, cold walks in London, did much to spark my imagination.(You can read this one at the above link, no permalink as far as I can tell).
Speaking of Russell, upon several recommendations I am reading her book of short stories St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised By Wolves and really enjoying it. Even the weakest in the collection so far yield at least one perfect element.
My return also yielded a full mailbox, including a giant package from Coffee House Press. Inside there were four books, all of which I am excited about. Out of the two novels and two story collections, the one I am most looking forward to is Fugue State by Brian Evenson. Evenson was the editor, with Bradford Morrow, for the issue of Conjunctions I’ve been enjoying so much.
And my weekend comes full circle! You can all exhale now.