In "The Wall of America," the Department of Homeland Security has put up a border wall between the United States and Canada. Read more...
In "The Wall of America," the Department of Homeland Security has put up a border wall between the United States and Canada. But the NEA has plans for the wall as well, turning it into the world's largest art gallery. After the Rapture, working-class life for "A Family of the Post-Apocalypse" is not as different as one might imagine, despite the occasional plague of biker-gang locusts. Between addiction and art is "Ringtime," where a criminal is trapped in a recursive compulsion to visit other people's memories while he is forced to record his own for an eager audience. A Somali schoolgirl living in post-WWIII Minneapolis goes on a bloody crusade to rid her town of a familiar predator, one who might just be a monster, in "White Man."
Vivid, starkly imagined, and strikingly articulate, this disquieting collection is a journey that skillfully straddles the line between playful absurdity and pointed irony.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 43.
- Review Date: 2008-09-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Decrying but not despairing, this collection of 19 later short pieces by author and poet Disch (1940–2008) lovingly tears into the realities and fantasies of American life. Belief and delusion walk side by side as primal fears of vampirism overtake so-called civilized society (“The White Man”) and alien abduction hoaxes are used to rescue abused children (“The Abduction of Bunny Steiner, or, A Shameless Lie”). Art is commerce in “Canned Goods” and it's transcendence in “The Wall of America,” and Disch offers delicious revenge on those who exploit art as mere entertainment (“One Night, or, Scheherazade's Bare Minimum”) or treat it condescendingly as a charity case (“The First Annual Performance Art Festival at the Slaughter Rock Battlefield”). Though sometimes light and slight, these tales show Disch at his masterful, acerbic best. (Nov.)