cover image Postcards from a Dead Girl

Postcards from a Dead Girl

Kirk Farber. Harper Perennial, $13.99 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-06-183447-9

Sid Higgins, the appealing, self-deprecating narrator of Farber’s poignant, funny debut, has been receiving postcards from his old girlfriend Zoe. Unfortunately, the whimsical Zoe has disappeared, and the postmarks on the cards are more than a year old. Though he doesn’t really expect to find her, Sid travels to Europe in search of Zoe. Since Sid works for a travel agency, a slick telephone operation that uses the amusingly named Randomizer to dial potential clients, the trip is easy to arrange. Sid plaintively and self-mockingly relates his interactions with his boss, Steve; his neighbor, “Gerald the Post Office Guy”; and, most of all, his dog, Zero, whose deftly described postures convey so much, though perhaps not quite as much as Sid reads into them. Sid’s older sister, Natalie, a doctor who provides welcome perspective on Sid, is by turns affectionate, irritated, supportive, and occasionally fed up. The reader is likely to feel the same. (Mar.)