Further Adventures in the Restless Universe

Stellar short stories.

Reviewed By Carmela Ciuraru

In her third book, Dawn Raffel (More’s editor-at-large) offers 21 highly imaginative stories filled with sly wit. Her central focus is family relationships, yet she also relentlessly dissects language itself, as in “Her Purchase”: “ ‘Mom,’ Jerome says—a word that means anything and everything and nothing . . . a consonant receptacle.” While the author’s subject matter is grounded in the everyday, her style of storytelling is highly impressionistic—it’s the readers who fill in the blanks.

Like the conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, Raffel often distills the mysteries of life into spare truisms. As she writes in “Flesh, Blood”: “No moment is sacred and all of them are.”

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