cover image Oh God, the Sun Goes

Oh God, the Sun Goes

David Connor. Melville House, $17.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-68589-062-9

Connor’s wondrous if slight debut begins with an amnesiac narrator announcing the central conceit: the sun has gone missing. In its absence, a “blinding grey” emits from the sky. Intent on getting some answers, the narrator travels to nearby Sun City to meet Dr. H.A. Higley, who has studied the sun extensively. Along the way, he stops at the Sun City Museum, where a guide vaguely but strenuously stresses the importance of the retirement community’s planner, Del Webb. When the narrator finally gets to Higley’s house, Higley’s wife shows him the last note her husband wrote before he entered a deep sleep; though it just reads “bumble bee,” the message leads the narrator further on his journey to find out what happened to the sun. More mysterious events follow, including an encounter with Webb, and eventually the narrator’s road trip blurs into a meditation on aphasia and a tour of the human brain (“In a region of the city, Amygdala, space collapses into a dark cloud where nothing can be seen”). Though the narrative tends to feel like an overlong short story, Connor lands plenty of stimulating riffs on themes of memory, love, and loss, all in lyrical prose and suffused with surreal imagery. This offbeat tale is worth a look. (Aug.)