Fantastical, meditative, and witty… An outstanding collection.
Love provides the backdrop for this remarkable, deeply gripping collection of twelve short stories from K. Brimming with pathos and rich in character, “The Conversation,” explores friendship, love, self-reliance, freedom, and self-discovery through the story of its blind protagonist who is trying to look for love while struggling to deal with her over-protective mother. Set in a futuristic world, the heart-wrenching, “The Hand” explores love and sacrifice as the protagonists struggle with stifling reigning powers. The dreary setting and vision of a totalitarian enterprise lends the story its dark tone. In sharply observed and cleverly-crafted, “Calamity Jane,” the reader explores love through the eyes of a pair of teenage boys as they wrestle with desire and lust. Set in the distant future, “Automatonomatopoeia,” follows the tedious life of the young protagonist in a harshly conformist world where his mechanical automation is the only true friend he got. K’s feverish imagination makes the story’s futuristic setting a grim place overrun by corrupt, tyrannical forces. His unflinching, compassionate observations make “Head Down” a poignant tale of love, destiny, and family obligations as a couple struggles between choosing between love and duty. In “Vikings,” a young Yugoslavian man struggles to deal with the pain of his lost love. The tension between men and women, and the question of what it means to love and be loved, feeds all the stories. The theme in case of all twelve stories is common: K fixates mainly on romantic relationships. But the universal themes of friendships, family bonds, regrets, desire, grief, and individual struggles are infused skillfully into the narrative. There are thrilling escapades, heart wrenching heartbreaks, persistent pain, longing, and death. Each story’s observations illuminate slice-of-life quality, as a vast array of deeply realized characters explore their perspective on love. Some stories are rooted in reality (Radius) while others take the reader on a sweeping journey into a mythical land (Orpheus and Eurydice). There are lighthearted, funny stories as well as exhilarating excursions, but melancholy is the collection’s dominant tone. K’s large cast of varied characters—from fickle teens and wayward husband to space-age automatons and talking dogs, gardeners and gatekeepers, a blind girl, a young father, among others—is deeply realized and relatable, and his keen observations and psychological insights keep the pages turning. By turns haunting, witty, and reflective, this marvelous collection will stay with the reader long after they turn the last page.
Resistance, Revolution and Other Love Stories
Pub date October 19, 2020
Price $15.99 (USD) Paperback, $28.99 Hardcover, $3.09 Kindle edition