from A Summer's Lynching (a novella)
A Summer's Lynching
"A Summer’s Lynching has the affect of the saddest symphonies that I have heard. Folkloric, rhythmic, and spare, its form is quite simply haunting. The procession begins with the title, and each dignified phrase carries us — hard and sad — to the end. A collective novella about us — and about you — A Summer’s Lynching is an important and very cool book."
Kate Bernheimer, author of How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales
A Summer's Lynching captures that fragmented post-9/11 grief, where after people started coming home broken, they found home to be just another broken place of suspicion, distrust, and fragmented, isolated lives.
In the basement of an apartment building, a war vet is found dead. It’s never a mystery that it was a suicide. The only mystery is why everyone feels so guilty about it, why they all feel so responsible for what he did to himself.
You meet so many people, in the various apartments, on the street as they start to gather, in the church as they start to confess, in the library as they try to explain loneliness to each other, in the high school as they improvise a memorial service with, in the end, their own stories of isolation.
An inner city community can feel so isolated in its density, and this book is a portrait of what happens when that community tries to come together but just doesn’t know how.