1) Over at Vesitge.org, August reviews two Biblioasis short fiction collections. Of Amy Jones's What Boys Like he writes:
“The Number Three” is my last story. It’s not the last one I’ll ever write, I hope, but it is the story I most recently completed and it functions as the concluding piece for the collection. As a finished work, it’s long and kind of contemplative - like its protagonist. The story has to cover a lot of territory between its beginning and its end - but whenever I think about it, I only remember the sprinting and scrambling we had to do to get it done on time for publication, and the way we wrapped up the final edits on the very last day, just hours before we sent the book to the printers.
“The Number Three” is about an everyday, mass-produced consumer item: the Dodge Caravan, a minivan that Chrysler Canada assembles in Windsor, Ontario. I was interested in the way even inanimate objects must run their cycle - they are born, they live and they die - and I wanted to think about how our existence is often intimately interwoven with the existence of such objects. My main character gives his life to work on these vans, but they also work on him, and I tried to imagine how this one object - a vehicle specifically constructed to move families and hold all their junk - could actually become a part of a family and actively participate in both the arrogant victories and the grinding defeats we share only with those we care for most.
Don't know much about Storyville? Check it out here. I subscribe, and it is a wonderful way to keep up up on the latest short fiction.
Another review of Clark Blaise's Meagre Tarmac appeared in the Waterloo Record on the weekend. Alex Good writes, in part:
Readers familiar with Blaise’s work will find much of this introspective accounting to be familiar ground. But the handling is as sure as ever, the mark of a master craftsman, and the detail is contemporary and well observed throughout. Nobody dramatizes life as a continual process of stock-taking as Blaise does. Nobody has imagined that process in so many different contexts. His stories are inward journeys, endless and unticketed.
See his whole review here.
And for those of you in NY, Clark will be reading with Bharati Mukherjee tomorrow evening at McNally-Jackson at 7 pm.