Certain American States: Stories

The quality of short stories being written right now is nothing I’ve ever seen before. Another gem from a “Best of” list, this collection from Catherine Lacey. Her long sentences are acrobats defying expectations, you think she’s going to crash but she keeps spinning them out, pages and pages, your nerves on edge, will she land on her feet, yes!

Excellent writing, weird moods and characters, nothing blah about these stories. Her experiments with text never seem to fail, even the parentheses within parentheses: “(A life might comfortably disappear into a well-worn groove between house, school, and grocery store. (All lives disappear one way or another. (All hours get spent.)))”

She even makes you laugh with the unexpected twist of the sentence:

“Leonard, that man who raised me, he is the one who remembers my nervousness. He once told me that on the first day of my life, on that still-dark morning, I looked up at him and he looked down at me and he knew and I knew and we both knew that we’d always dislike each other.”