Allegheny Front

Matthew Neill Null. Sarabande (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-941411-25-4
The deceptively powerful stories in Null’s first collection, after his debut novel, Honey from the Lion, create a map not only of the geography of rural West Virginia but also of its people. These are characters inhabiting places largely ignored by the outside world. In “Mates,” a man kills an endangered bald eagle on his land, believing himself to be above the law, and is then stalked and tormented by the eagle’s mate. In “Gauley Season,” a group of ex-miners turn to operating rafting companies after their mining jobs disappear, but the promising new industry quickly leads to tragedy. The rugged lives of a group of log drivers in the late 1800s are chronicled in “The Slow Lean of Time.” In the astonishing “Telemetry,” a young scientist’s camp on Back Allegheny Mountain is visited by a local man and his daughter, their presence forcing the scientist to confront her relationship to her own origins, which becomes a recurring theme in the collection. Violence is inevitable in these stories—guns are almost always present, and they aren’t just decoration—but there is plenty of beauty, too. Landscape is an essential element, as well as the constant presence of wild animals, but Null focuses on the ways that a setting can shape how we identify with the world. The scope of the collection contains voices from multiple generations, and the result is a kaleidoscopic portrait of a distinctive region of North America, as well as an exercise in finding the universal in the particular. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-941411-26-1
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X