Tadzio Koelb teaches creative writing at Rutgers. Morasses, his translation of Andre Gide's Paludes, appeared in 2015.
Those who don’t follow publishing trends likely aren’t aware that linked story collections, like man-buns, are out; in their place we have the “novel-in-stories.” While some authors might see the change as nothing more than publishing jargon, Philip F. Deaver has risen to the challenge of a short-story collection with novel-like plotting.
Go Home is the story of Viraf, who, like author Sohrab Homi Fracis, is an immigrant to America from India’s Parsi community, a group that left Persia a millennium ago to escape religious persecution.
Which one was it? asked the tall one again. He took up almost the whole room, standing there looking down at the still man on the little cot-like bed. He was difficult to see: the lamp lay dark beside the overturned bed-side table, and the bare bulb down the hallway pushed only a half-shadow through the door.
War, clearly, is the heart of the story, but it is also insistently avoided by characters and author alike, a hole at the center of everyone’s experience once the opening scenes are past.
Psychiatrist Dr. David Manne is tipsy and tired when he is asked by a police detective to evaluate Esterhazy, a violent suspect. Reports suggest Esterhazy is in a psychotic state, threatening his wife with a broken bottle and claiming to be a bachelor named Smith.