cover image Tales from the Eternal Cafe

Tales from the Eternal Cafe

Janet Hamill. Three Rooms (, $15.95 (174p) ISBN 978-0-9895125-0-3

Acclaimed poet Hamill (Body of Water) uses the location of a cafe, a destination long associated with thinkers, dreamers, and conversationalists who dwell there, as the springboard for many of the stories in this rich and diverse debut story collection. Each of the 17 entries dazzles with virtuosity and uniqueness in setting, narrative, and theme. "Espresso Cinecitta" is a contemporary tale of the machinations of a clever publicist who plays on the ego of a film star to score a role for her lover in a film. "Blue Corpus Christi" places the grief of a young man for his lover against the backdrop of the religious strictures and rumblings of the Spanish Civil War. The fears of young Americans roaming through modern Tangiers in "Tangiers Dejoun" contrast with the quest for inner peace of a young Parisian intellectual centuries earlier in "The Birds of the Air." Hamill's dialogue tactfully embraces each setting and her keen eye for the detail is enthralling. Readers will be thoroughly drawn into scenes of love, redemption, belief and delusion as well as alienation and fear in this terrific collection. (Feb.)