Thursday, December 14, 2017

WSJ reviews The Whole World at Once: Words with the "strength of tempered steel"

So, here's some good news that all of us missed in May: The Whole World at Once received a write-up in The Wall Street Journal. And a good write-up, to boot:

The dangers of childhood are central to Erin Pringle's story collection "The Whole World at Once" (Vandalia Press, 243 pages, $17.99) and Tessa Hadley's "Bad Dreams and Other Stories" (Harper, 224 pages, $26.99). Ms. Pringle casts a somber gaze at the formative traumas that beset blue-collar America. In "The Wandering House," a young woman is disfigured in a meth-lab explosion. The subtly disquieting tale "The Boy Who Walks" depicts a child's personality change after he nearly freezes to death while wandering through the snow. "After that day, the boy's different. Like his own ghost thinks he died, though he didn't, but now tags him everywhere he goes." You can feel that Ms. Pringle has labored over her sentences, giving them the strength of tempered steel. She has a knack for the cinematic image as well. In "When the Frost Comes," when a girl discovers her mother dead of a brain aneurysm, she notices a tire outside "swinging from the tree in large sweeps." Hours later they are still alone in the house and the tire swing has stopped.
(excerpt from "Shelf Help" 
by Sam Sacks, 5/19/17)