List: A Novel

List: A Novel

By: Matthew Roberson (author)Paperback

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In these glimpses of middle America, lists guide the stories - ordering the characters' lives, capturing their obsessions, cataloguing their complaints, accounting for their desires, and serving as prayers toward ways of life that might work.

Here the man, the woman, the boy, and the girl struggle through the home improvement projects, the conflicts at work and school, the job loss, the illesses, and the confrontations with ageing that constitutes their claustrophobic days. Their lives revolve around gadgets, mad cleanliness, bland vans, and deadly entropies that make up the suburban middle class.

The man digression-addled, searches in vain for a screw with which to hang a single print. The woman packs her family off to a water-park vacatio to escape from her illness. The boy starts speaking his mind at school. The girl hangs on behind the scenes. They try to convince themselves something can always change, but the narratives they inhabit prove it can't, it doesn't, things will just keep on, and with a decided list.

List's sections are variations - spare, quietly comic, haunting, and addictively readable - often written in short declarative sentences, and all about gaps, about what isn't said between people, about developments that never transpire, about white spaces on the page that make those absences present.

When all is said and done, List is a curative mix of satire and sympathy. While the stories empty out the ambitions and materialism of the middle class, they also create an emotional landscape replete with the hilarity and humility of very human vulnerability. The great gift of these stories is their alchemy of innovation, judgment and commiseration.

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About Author

Matthew Roberson is the author of two novels, "1998.6" and "Impotent," both published by FC2, and is the editor of a critical book, "Musing the Mosaic." His short fiction has appeared in journals such as "Fourteen Hills," "Fiction International," and "Western Humanities Review." He teaches at Central Michigan University, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/02/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781573661775
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 224
  • ID: 9781573661775
  • weight: 308
  • ISBN10: 1573661775

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