So much has gone wrong on the Penobscot reservation in rural Maine. Read these fictional short stories by Morgan Talty and it’s hard to get past the poverty and pain along with the sense that the whole place is so marginal as to seem the backside of nowhere.
But the place is haunted by things that are deeper and more enduring. Native practices linger. Old identities never really go away. And there is resilience in the intersecting characters who populate these tales.
Talty is an engaging writer. Like Scott McClanahan, who writes with grim clarity about life in contemporary West Virginia but who does so with energy and mordant humor, Talty refuses to look away from the hurt and yet gives you reason to want to stay with him for the view.
An excellent collection from a great young writer. Night of the Living Rez easily makes the list at #7.
#8 – Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne by Katherine Rundell
#9 – A Place Like Mississippi by W. Ralph Eubanks
#10 – Shaking the Gates of Hell by John Archibald