RAY ABERNATHY has been a political, labor and public relations consultant for more than 40 years.
When the teller of this story of stories rolls out in the first line of the first page, Pretend you are my sister, you suspect youre in the hands of yet another delightfully manipulative Southern storyteller, which Douglas A. Martin certainly is, but it does nothing to prepare you for a seeming jumble of herky-jerky sentences, half-expressed back and forths, pesky digressions and episodic little gemlits about growing up at the tail-end of the Tobacco Road Erskine Caldwell carried us careening down seventy years ago.
From Dubai to Japan to Boston to Brooklyn to Romani Gypsy grandparents, the stories in Anatolia and Other Stories (Black Lawrence) are varied and, conceptually, architected on an intriguing premise. The first story, Dubai, reads like a Malamud folklore legend/Flannery OConnor hybrid.
John Wray (Canaans Tongue) delivers another fast-paced novel which takes us through the New York City subway system, tracking a schizophrenic sixteen-year-old boy who, like many of the citys paranoid residents, believes he has been made privy to information about a pending apocalypse.
Not to get gushy, but if youre a writer, or want to be a writer, or just like to hang out around writers and pretend youre a writer, then youll gobble up Bruce Jay Friedmans literary memoir, Lucky Bruce.