Of That Other Country We Now Speak
A troubled father seeks to heal his daughter by confronting private and ancestral ghosts; a former priest regains his vocation by rescuing a woman from a sex cult; an unrequited lover uses a dog as his murder weapon; a corrupt banker seeks redemption among the prayerful inside a booze bar as the “end of the world” approaches—the denizens of Charlson Ong’s latest collection of short fiction inhabit a world fraying at the seams, morally adrift. Wounded and compromised they nonetheless struggle mightily against the “dying of the light.” Written over the last two decades, these stories are thematically and stylistically diverse ranging from the exuberant title story to the “minimalist” “The Vet.” Here we find the gritty realism of crime fiction as well as the enchantment of myth. Here is fiction sensual and sophisticated, rich and robust. Here is fiction worthy of its calling.
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