cover image Rumors from the Lost World

Rumors from the Lost World

Alan Davis. New Rivers Press, $10.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-89823-142-7

The stories in this excellent first collection from Davis, a literary commentator for National Public Radio, are about seeking and discovery, fall and redemption, memory and loss. The characters are all shattered products of a broken past. A grandson is embarrassed by his grandfather to the point of hatred; yet after the old man has died, the boy, now a young man with a family of his own, finds solace in recounting his grandfather's life to those who never knew him. A husband, troubled by the state of his marriage, makes a desperate bid for emotional freedom when he drags his family on a quixotic journey westward to ``find the sun.'' The daughter of Italian immigrants in New Orleans finds her only strength in genealogy and the binding ties of heritage. In Davis's simple, realistic stories there is magic in a world that still somehow seems devoid of magic. Time, which so shapes these characters, is not linear; what is gone is not lost. Though there is tragedy, ultimately there is hope and the power to continue the journey. Davis offers the promise of becoming a first-rate storyteller. (Apr.)