cover image The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space

The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space

Douglas Trevor, . . Univ. of Iowa, $15.95 (164pp) ISBN 978-0-87745-950-7

The various protagonists of Trevor's first collection struggle to fill the void left by one or another loss (or "tear"), often avoiding reality in the process. In "The Surprising Weight of the Body's Organs," Houston-based Sharon Mackaney transports donor organs from city to city, drinking alone in hotel bars to cover her grief over her son's death and her failing marriage. The title story's Elena Gavrushnekov—suffering the aftereffects of surgery on a benign brain tumor and mourning the death of her lover, Casha—completes her long-gestating project on cosmology as a kind of love letter to her young departmental assistant, Patti, with whom she will now have a long-awaited coffee. In "Central Square," Peter, an alcoholic futon salesman recently moved to Boston from a cow town, begins spending evenings in the mall with coffee-cart vendor Andrea, a Chilean émigré younger than he. Their relationship, such as it is, propels him into AA and a few realizations. Trevor's writing has energy and his characters have authentic quirks, but the settings are featureless. While no one story fails completely, most, intentionally, travel on momentum alone and end in medias res, with varying results. (Oct.)