Short story collections are a literary buffet. A sampling of this; a bit of that; an author you wouldn’t mind gorging on… if only there were more.
Racket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland brings us new voices that shape themselves into a range of stories. “Cross Beams” is riotous. The story’s language races along the track of a simple plot as quickly as the rollercoaster it depicts, shooting up and down on verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
“Twenty-three Things I Hate” takes a more Spartan approach, in the form of a numbered list, but each entry is thick with grief, anger, and longing for how life should have turned out. Oddly, this story, about a man beaten down by death and land-use bylaws, is the most uplifting of the bunch.
Be warned, reader, these stories aren’t a fun jaunt into short fiction. They will challenge and tease you, and the characters will stick with you long past the last page.
Racket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland
Edited by Lisa Moore
$19.95, paperback, 240 pp.
Breakwater Books, 2015