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Jam-packed anthology of poems, creative non-fiction, fiction, and a couple of non-classifiables. Reading the anthology is just as the editor states in the Introduction, "...a bit like driving down a winding road; you won't know what's coming until you turn the page." Each piece is prefaced with a brief note from the editor giving the reader a glimpse into what's to follow. I was moved in all kinds of directions while reading. Jesse Sensibar's "Shrine Stories" (I'd classify it as poetic creative non-fiction) sets a serious tone, reminding the reader the true meaning of descansos. Kate McGowan's "I'll Go Now" touches on grief, while Richard King Perkins's "Moments of Absence" gives a brief reprieve. Karen Bovenmyer's "Like a Soul" provides the reader with a string of hope to hang onto. While none of the stories felt full-frontal sci-fi, some certainly headed in the direction. This felt particularly fitting since death is the ultimate unknown. The anthology also includes "Author's Notes" at the end - which give the reader insight into how each piece came to fruition. If you've ever been curious about the twisted path a piece takes from idea to fully realized, you'll likely get a kick out of this portion of the book. Overall, a very well put-together offering that has me looking forward to the next publication from Darkhouse Books, and has me Googling several of the authors for more of their work.
An eclectic and thought-inspiring collection of works from very different writers. The styles range broadly, but each was readable and enjoyable. I'll definitely be seeking out works from some of these writers.
This is a truly magical book. I read it from cover to cover and now I just flip it open randomly and read a few sentences. As a visual artist I frequently need a few words, a sentence that lays out images that stir my soul and this book is full of them.
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2017
First, what an incredible idea for a collection. The stories, essays, and poetry here are each beautiful variations on the theme of the descanso, the roadside memorial, the murky transition period of mourning. The editor curated these pieces so wonderfully--a few are genre, many are literary fiction, most read like poignant memoir, but each voice is distinct and beautiful. I liked their immediacy and raw power. I started to list a few favorites, but realized it would end up being the table of contents. Especially don't miss the pieces by Brian Morgan (such a fluid, insightful, honest story about how we're never the kind of friend we want to be), Diana Brown (a fierce, enraging story about a place where precious lives, careers, and a young woman's outlook on the world went up in flames), and Jonathan Ochoco (a hilarious, tender story about a man in a bar plagued by the ghosts of Oscar Wilde and Sylvester, who always seem to be mid-coitus.)