Do not let Etgar Keret deceive you. The Israeli writer who's worked in film, illustration, animation, and radio, is a storyteller in all senses of the word. Like a conman, he'll promise you a simple story and then the next thing you know your emotional reserves have been completely emptied. It's a literary bait and switch, and he'll get you every time.
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"If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that logic is the sworn enemy of grief," writes Halimah Marcus, co-editor of Electric Literature, in her introduction to “Firewood," a hilarious and devastating story by J. Robert Lennon. "When the narrator’s wife (expectedly) leaves him, too devastated to admit the obvious, he concocts an impossible explanation for her disappearance. All I’ll say is that it involves the woodpile. The invented story is more horrible than the truth, but somehow easier to manage."
The Cottage on the Hill is a horror story, but it’s a J. Robert Lennon horror story, in which the characters’ loneliness - their disconnectedness, their inability, at times, even to speak or listen to one another - is more chilling than any of the supernatural elements.
"That night was a lesson learned: There's the erotic's of a woman who feels so miserable and wrecked and anxious and sad she will get on her knees and let four people have at her with varying degrees of rupture and bliss, and then there's everything else." The Common, guest editor of Recommended Reading 2.4, publishes stories with a strong sense of place, yet the opening of Interpreters of Men Get It On sets the story to be the "Middle of Nowhere."