So, last week I went to the library and perused the new fiction section. I came upon this book and for some weird reason I picked it up. Let me confess one thing - I rarely read short fiction books. The only other book of short stories I've read was The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender, a book filled with stories that had a mix of surrealism and an honest examination of real life.
And this book, oddly enough, turned out to be very similar. I decided not to think of the odds of running into another book with a similar theme.
The introduction describes the idea of interstitial fiction. "[It's] a simple search for stories that don't rest comfortably in the cubbyholes we traditionally use to organize our cultural experiences (v)."
Of course, I was drawn to this book. I love anything that steps out of the norm.
I'm not sure how to describe the stories I read. I enjoyed some more than others. There were a few that stood out to me that I will describe in brief.
Remembrance is Something Like a House by Will Ludwigsen
I'm not sure that I believe in ghosts, but I do believe that houses hold memories of the people that once lived there. I think you can walk in a house and just feel if there has been sadness, happiness, joy, grief, fear, celebration. All with just walking in the door.
This short story takes on the point of view of the house in its search for the family that once lived there. A family ripped apart by torment and sadness. The houses holds tightly to the memory of its family and travels cross country to find them.
I love when a writer takes on another point of view - a very unique point of view, in fact. It was heartbreaking as the house described picking up its feet, dodging storms, and intruders. And I identified with the house and it's desire to reclaim and fix a past long since gone.
Morton Goes to the Hospital by Amelia Beamer
I think I'm beginning to love the idea of taking on new points of view. Although less obvious, this short story takes on the view of...someone else. Someone closer to the main character than the usual narrator. You meet Morton, an elderly gentleman, you feel heartbroken for as he tries to recover from his fall on the sidewalk. But life goes on, and he goes to his breakfast with an old flame named Alice, who suffers with memory loss.
Morton's wife, Marie interjects every now and then. But she isn't there, not really. She's with the narrator, who watches over Morton's shoulder like the reader does. Just waiting to see what happens as Morton drives with Alice to take in the views of the California coast. to see what happens when their love is rekindled again.
After reading this book, I think you will find new possibilities in the realm of fiction and short stories. Books like these make me realize the purpose and enjoyment of short fiction. That something greater can be obtained through their existence. A knowledge about life and living. No, you may not like all the stories presented here. I'm not sure that's always possible with books like these. You will, however, take something away from reading this book. Maybe the hope that you can stretch your wings as a writer without worrying about how you define yourself.
Book Best Served With
B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog Dark Chocolate Bar - an interesting mix of sweet and salty flavors that leaves you wanting more. Much like the book.
Want to find out more information about the Interstitial Fiction movement? Go to their website - Interstitial Arts Foundation. Or purchase your copy with Amazon. Click here to purchase a copy with Barnes and Noble.
Disclaimer: I wrote this review on my own without being asked to and without receiving the book for free or anything all. I did include an Amazon affiliate link within the post in case you were interested in purchasing the book.