Love in the Antropocene

Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam. OR Books (orbooks.com), $18 trade paper (218p) ISBN 978-1-939293-90-9
Jamieson and Nadzam combine a pair of thought-provoking essays with a handful of colorless stories in this collection. In the introduction, “Antropocene,” the authors invite readers to “think for a moment about how inseparable love is from nature.” They present vignettes set in a hot, dry future, devoid of wildlife. In “Flyfishing,” a father takes his daughter on an expensive and carefully managed fishing trip; in “Shanghai” a nameless man and woman enjoy a brief virtual love affair until software glitches and a breakdown in the weather control system force the man to interact face-to-face with a real neighbor. Characters have only first names or else no names at all, appearing briefly in these melancholy scenes and then making way for others, departing as quickly as they arrived. The joylessness of these tales is obviously intentional, but it often comes at the cost of muted emotional impact. Furthermore, the connection between the paltry nature of love and the loss of nature is tenuous. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Genre: Fiction
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