Here is How it Happens

Spencer Dew. Ampersand (SPD, dist.), $16.95 (226p) ISBN 978-0-9841025-9-4
At an elite Ohio college where there are "very few successful suicides" and "[h]ard drug use is kept quiet," art student Martin Wheeler and his friends search for authentic emotion in Dew's (Songs of Insurgency) feverish first novel. Idling in greasy spoon diners and dorm rooms, Martin and his lover Courtney feel their "childhoods…rotting away" and cling to each other as a refuge from their official relationships with long-distance partners—relationships that have soured into "narcotic repetition". Through their art—photographs, poems, and dioramas of the Kent State massacre—and their drug experimentation—huffing correction fluid or injecting animal tranquilizers—Dew writes a spot-on and sympathetic portrayal of a group of kids dealing with "generalized, festering, unexplored, internal angst." Their actual schoolwork feels beside the point as we see Martin and Courtney search for meaning in their world of big-box stores, homelessness, neo-Nazi high school gangs, and other specters of Midwestern life. Dew captures the "violent ambivalence" of young people fearing their future, doubting their potential, and, as Martin describes, stylizing their "still-developing artifice". His prose is simultaneously urgent and hesitant as his characters are desperate for connection but also terrified of what looms ahead. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.