Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘open city books’

Reviews |

A Little Bone of Crazy, or This is Your Brain On Snowbroth: Leni Zumas’s Farewell Navigator

Most of Leni Zumas’s stories in her exceptional (and stylistically exciting) debut, Farewell Navigator (Open City, 2008), are compact studies of paralysis in the tradition of Beckett and Ioensco. Sherwood Anderson could have been describing Zumas’s characters as they, too, are “forever frightened and beset by a ghostly band of doubts.” In “Farewell Navigator,” one character envies a group of blind schoolchildren for having teachers “to pull them. Nobody expects them to know where to go.” And in “Leopard Arms”—a story told from the perspective of a gargoyle—a father fears “of doing nothing they’ll remember him for. Not a single footprint—film, book, record, madcap stunt—to prove he was here. Am I actually here? he sometimes mutters into his hand.”

Reviews |

Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work, by Jason Brown

Set in and around the fictional town of Vaughn, Brown’s stories contain characters driven by duty and guilt down paths furrowed by their own lapses and eccentricities. A cloud of fatalism hangs over many; the weight of the past—personal, familial, historical—presses constantly at their backs.