Vadim Popov Popov itibaren 6974 Leuvenheim, Hollanda
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Everyday humans face loss – whether that be the loss of a family member or a piece of oneself. As we experience loss, we experience grief. The stories in American Fiction, Volume 11, a collection of short stories published by New Rivers Press, largely follow characters who have experienced a loss. Many of the stories, such as “Stickmen” by Andrew C. Gottlieb, “Voyeuse” by Cary Groner, and “Piano” by Terry Roueche, follow individuals as they go through the grieving / recovery process. Though most stories featured in American Fiction follow a rather conventional form, “Twenty Tales of Natural Disaster” by Helen Phillips proudly breaks rank, featuring twenty sections of almost poetic prose – each telling its own story while contributing to one overall theme. Two other stories step apart from the pack as well, though for a different reason. Where the majority of the stories elicit a sympathetic response to the protagonist, “The Cherry Tree” by Sarah Blackman and “Everything, Clearly” by Alexander Yates draw a much more negative reaction. “The Cherry Tree” exudes a cold indifference to the act of sex and a lack of true connection to oneself and the life surround oneself. On the whole, American Fiction succeeds in capturing the grieving and healing processes and the varying degrees in which they take place. It brings its readers through some of the darkest places and guides them to a greater understanding. Its greatest achievement can be summed up by a quote from “My Yard;” “Acceptance of life’s end does not mean your heart will not be broken in two when you fade” (120). Above all, American Fiction depicts the solemn acceptance of fate and duty with the heart-wrenching reality that things will never be the same.