Honey in the Carcase: Stories
This book of short stories intersperses haunting and disturbing vignettes from the author’s native Croatia (one of the nations created in the aftermath of the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia) with deceptively simple accounts of mainstream North American characters whose lives are in the process of being dissolved and remade. In the first few stories, Novakovich suggests that acts of violence or destruction, both random and inevitable, contain the essential truth of human life, but readers of these tales should resist the temptation to skip ahead to the bloody finish. More nuanced portraits emerge of life in both war-tormented Europe and in (equally conflicted but less overtly chaotic) American culture. The author’s high reputation, an impressive list of publications, and numerous awards are more than justified over the course of this collection; his playful command of English idioms is near-Nabokovian, and he brings an outsider’s piercing eye to many otherwise invisible foibles of American language usage and mental habits. A surrealistic edge is also perceptible in many of these sketches, and his shifting point of view (he even writes one story through the eyes of an animal) is dazzling yet controlled, ultimately charming and surprising rather than arty or confusing.
|Page Count||200 pages|
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|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|