cover image Harmless Tales

Harmless Tales

Villy Sorensen, Villy Srensen. Norvik Press, $18.95 (137pp) ISBN 978-1-870041-15-7

These eight quirky stories are slightly off center when it comes to reality but directly on target in emotional terms. Several of the central characters have some kind of special gift or handicap, and often the same characteristic turns out to be both: a grocer can divine what it is that his customers truly need and refuses to sell them anything else, which eventually puts him out of business; a person with four legs, two heads, and two torsos fascinates a man attending an ``international truth conference''; a woman can only see when she is crying and so drives away the man she loves with her interminable sadness. Other characters are simply unlucky: a soldier who is chosen to accompany a bomb down to earth; a landlady who wants to remove all the walls in her house in order to keep an eye on her philandering husband; a postman whose death momentarily inspires townspeople to write more letters. Sorensen's ( Seneca: The Humanist at the Court of Nero ) losers are lovable, however. Their foibles reveal touchingly human characters, and these fantastical fables are told in a softly resonant language that has been translated from the Danish with a sure touch. (Aug.)