By Ed Allen
In "Celibacy-by-the-Atlantic," Phil negotiates a lingering, low-intensity remorse because of the once a year kin get-together at his mom and dad' seashore condominium, the place stories of his aimless, privileged formative years mingle with forebodings of his aimless, privileged heart age. In "A Lover's advisor to Hospitals," Carl lies in mattress, pining over a stillborn romance via a moody, post-op haze of painkillers. As a consoling needle throughout the center, the item of Carl's unrequited affections additionally seems to be his nurse.
In "Burt Osborne principles the World," a precocious boy ponders his adolescence in "a international shielded from whatever you'll think doing to make it extra interesting." Sensing that simply extra of an analogous awaits him as an grownup, Burt charts a distinct course--as a category clown with a very poisonous experience of mischief. Others, like Lydia in "Ralph is going to Mexico," assert their individuality extra without problems, for they are simply too evidently peculiar to be cowed by way of conference. Lydia's challenge is whether or not she must have her leukemic cat crammed and fixed or become a hat after he dies.
These lyrical stories have a good time the ordinary--and the now not so ordinary--with a flourish of Nabokovian wit that mixes grandeur, kitsch, and the author's huge empathy along with his characters.
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Extra info for Ate It Anyway: Stories by Ed Allen (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)
Ate It Anyway: Stories by Ed Allen (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction) by Ed Allen