Author: Thaisa Frank
Description: Short stories. Depressing magic realism.
Review source: Publisher
Plot: There are dozens of stories in this book (50 or more?) so it is hard to identify an overarching theme. There are several stories, though, about being seen—people blending in to inanimate objects so they cannot be seen, or being forgotten as though they were never there. I would say that most of the stories are about broken connections between people.
Characters: Mostly from the women’s point of view. These stories are pretty short—many are just two or three pages—so not much time for character development, more like a snapshot.
Writing style: Dreamlike, detached… Many of the stories contain elements of the magical. I can’t remember that any of the stories had happy endings, so a sort of sadness pervades the book.
Audience: Literary fiction
Wrap-up: I read this book because I had read Frank’s earlier Heidegger’s Glasses. I’ll say upfront that I’m not much for short stories; I much prefer the extended narrative of the novel. Short stories become just dizzying to me, especially if I’m reading more than one at a sitting, as I did with this book. In addition, I just happen to be re-reading Olive Kitteridge now as well. So it was up against a Pulitzer winner. The difference between this book and Olive is that I get that feeling of sustained, connected narrative in Olive. There were some connected stories here, but the typography of the story titles made it difficult to figure out exactly how that worked. 2.5/5*