cover image Infinite Dimensions

Infinite Dimensions

Jessica Treadway. Delphinium, $27.50 (240p) ISBN 978-1-953002-11-2

Treadway’s dynamic collection (after The Gretchen Question) intuitively explores the vulnerabilities of her characters. “Kwashiorkor” follows a woman named Amy as she struggles with depression after a psychiatric hospitalization and forces herself to embrace her new life as mother to a toddler. She’s nearly convinced herself that she’s recovered from the depression until Dina, her former roommate at the hospital, applies for a job at the bank where she works, prompting painful memories and an awkward interaction. In “Original Work,” college student Stephen is perplexed by his first philosophy assignment and, instead of going out to the bar, he contacts a relative with a philosophy degree for assistance, a decision he consequentially regrets. A woman named Petra in “The Sydney Opera House” goes to the doctor for vertigo, secretly hoping for a diagnosis of something serious, like a brain tumor (“If someone asked her why,” Treadway writes, “she’d be embarrassed to tell the truth: she wouldn’t mind the attention”). After searching dating profiles, Petra finds a man with the same condition, and they start a relationship. Here as in elsewhere, Treadway develops complex insights into her characters’ attempts to build a life for themselves on shaky ground. These stories are powerful and believable. (June)