Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Insolubility of Milk

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org 

I learned about this collection of short stories by Simon Fruelund from his translator K.E. Semmel on Twitter. It's a short 110-page book published in a gorgeous volume by Santa Fe Writers Project. But don't let its thickness fool us. These stories plumb the full depth of human experience in an astonishing paucity of words.

Take, for example, the title track. An unintended whistle during a puff of a cigarette leads to a defiant walk in the rain that results in a spontaneous tiff with a brother about the meaning of existence over an overturned tanker truck on the freeway. All this in little more than four pages.

Fruelund captures the frigidity of familial relationships, jilted lovers, and spurned mentors. He hangs these reticent characters against a barren ice-desert where haunting flames still flare up in the infinitesimal gaps as they pull apart from each other and their comfortable surroundings. The default tone is one of mourning after it's become a habit.

Milk and Other Stories is a fist ready to punch you in the throat. You reel from the impact even though the hand has long ago unclenched and disappeared into the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment