By Ed Allen
In "Celibacy-by-the-Atlantic," Phil negotiates a lingering, low-intensity remorse as a result of the once a year family members get-together at his mom and dad' seashore apartment, the place thoughts of his aimless, privileged formative years mingle with forebodings of his aimless, privileged heart age. In "A Lover's consultant to Hospitals," Carl lies in mattress, pining over a stillborn romance via a moody, post-op haze of painkillers. As a consoling needle in the course of the center, the item of Carl's unrequited affections additionally seems to be his nurse.
In "Burt Osborne ideas the World," a precocious boy ponders his early life in "a international protected from something you'll think doing to make it extra interesting." Sensing that in basic terms extra of a similar awaits him as an grownup, Burt charts a distinct course--as a category clown with a really poisonous feel of mischief. Others, like Lydia in "Ralph is going to Mexico," assert their individuality extra without difficulty, for they're simply too clearly peculiar to be cowed by way of conference. Lydia's quandary is whether or not she must have her leukemic cat crammed and fixed or changed into a hat after he dies.
These lyrical stories rejoice 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 resources for Ate It Anyway: Stories by Ed Allen (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)