Corporeality by Hollis Seamon
Able Muse Press, 1/31/2013
Paperback, 204 pages
In Corporeality, Hollis Seamon’s latest fiction collection, we meet the cat lady, the professor dealing with a plagiarist while coping with personal hardships, sibling rivalry of the unnaturally cursed kind, the dog that goes beyond everyday dog sense and scent to protect its owners. These are some of the eclectic characters and settings that make Corporeality irresistible and difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Like her preceding collection Body Work and mystery novel Flesh, this book is a testament to Seamon’s ample gifts as a storyteller.
Corporeality by Hollis Seamon is a collection of short stories that follow the state of mind of various quirky and beleaguered characters.
The collection features 10 stories (in my advanced readers copy):
"SUTHY" - a 17 year old and a 15 year old are terminal and in hospice care with SUTHY: "Somebody Up There Hates You" syndrome.
"Annus Mirabilis" - a professor who walked out on teaching to offer Bread and Books from the front porch of her home but troubles follow her there
"Leave It Lie" - garbage men Gary and Echo become heroes when they find two babies in a garbage bag and rush them to the hospital.
"Fatty Lumpkin vs. The Reaper: Rounds One, Two and Three" - an old, fat, blind, but very intuitive terrier protects his owner from the grim reaper
"Gigantina" - three sisters, one strangely deformed, experience sibling rivalry
"The Plagiarist" - a professor deals with an obvious case of plagiarism while experiencing her own personal problems
"Like a Virus" - A woman with agoraphobia meets a paranoid neighbor
"The Trojan Cat: A Drama in Three Acts" - a woman rescues her first cat, which leads to another, and another
"Praise Be to an Afflicting God" - two misfit neighbors and friends suspect that life on their street is changing
"Cabbage Night" - three girls fear their neighbor is killing their mother
This outstanding collection is masterfully written and the characters Seaman astutely creates are unforgettable. Several of the stories evoke raw emotions ranging from fear, anger, terror, and heartbreak. Most of the characters could be anyone you might see, a family you hear about in passing, or the neighbors you wonder about. My favorites were SUTHY, Annus Mirabilis, Leave It Lie, Fatty Lumpkin vs. The Reaper, and The Trojan Cat, but all the stories are certainly worth reading in this notable collection.
Very Highly Recommended - especially for fans of short stories
No quotes since I had an advanced reading copy.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Able Muse Press and Netgalley for review purposes.