Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Mczyzniejewski on The Whole World at Once: "Pringle writes haunting, stark narratives that send her characters out to investigate"

My time with Erin Pringle’s stories in The Whole World at Once was well spent. Pringle writes haunting, stark narratives that send her characters out to investigate what they can’t understand, be it a snowy ravine, the death of another, or the imminent death of the self. Curiosity is a solid trigger for any story, and Pringle handles her sleuths with an adept hand, getting close enough to look over their shoulder, though not close enough that we know their names. Mortality, and their existential relationship with it, makes for some tremendous pondering. - Michael Mczyzniejewski from his review of The Whole World at Once

I'm not sure how I missed sharing this wonderful review of The Whole World at Once, my last collection of stories. This review came out in 2020, three years after the book's publication and a few months after my novel Hezada! I Miss You was published (which corresponded with the pandemic). 

I remember reading the review and messaging Michael about it. I maybe even promised to send him a copy of Hezada! but I don't think I did. I guess that was the way of life back then. Covid affecting our physical environments led to a shift in how we stored our memories. Or how I did, anyway. 

Regardless, he said some super awesome words about the stories, and it's damn fine luck when your book falls into the hands of someone who can spin such words and wants to.

It's easy to forget that writing a book is for someone to read--to absorb the feelings and thoughts that you carefully created over so many hours and years and find the experience worthwhile in a way that affirms both your experiences of reality. 

Now it's three years since he posted his review, and I'm back at the point of marketing a new book of stories (Unexpected Weather Events); I'm at the Sisyphus part--at the bottom of the hill, pushing the ten-ton boulder called Publicity up Nobody-Cares hill, yelling about it every step so that readers will emerge from hiding and start whisking the book away. If I'm lucky, a reader will find these new stories worthwhile, too. It's a magnificent bonus when awesome words appear a few years later.