canadian ~ twenty-first century literature since 1999

Legacy (and other short fiction)
by monica s. kuebler
Burning Effigy Press & Productions, 1999.

Reviewed by Michael Bryson

Legacy (and other short fiction), the first publication from Burning Effigy Press & Productions, is a slim spiral bound collection of five gritty contemporary stories. There is some strong, if somewhat monotonous, stuff here.

The stories mostly explore the interior character of young people searching for meaning in a high stress world. They are first-person dramatic monologues that reveal layer by layer the complexity of the narrator. While they are very good at what they do, a reader might like to see some more variety. Like a piece from the parents' point of view, maybe. Something like that would add contrast and more power to the collection as a whole.

The stories are direct and simply told, with a rhetorical style of apparent simplicity which masks deeper issues. They don't get caught in too many complicated metaphors, though there are some (like "the shard-littered bitter violent highway of their dysfunction" in "closet monsters...") which border on the unintentionally comical. The narrators sometimes risk becoming parodies of angst, and would benefit from a little more self-awareness of their fictional nature. That is, the writing would benefit from the odd self-aware wink that it is echoing the work of other writers.

A fine daring little collection which promises hopeful things for the future.

Legacy (and other short fiction) can be ordered from Burning Effigy Press & Productions.







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ISSN 1494-6114. 


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