Lance Olsen’s collection How to Unfeel the Dead showcases over twenty years’ worth of work from a writer who ruthlessly explores and remaps the boundaries of contemporary American fiction. Olsen examines everything from the paintings of Max Ernst to our collective social media-induced malaise, to more timeless and traditional themes of desire, disconnection, and dissatisfaction. Each piece is its own funky little springboard into the abyss of language. For example, the story “Status Updates” is a series of status updates that document the mundane, the sadness and the disconnection we face while trying to “connect.” The piece “Strategies in the Overexposure of Well-lit Space” is a compilation of literary snapshots that zoom in on everything from the Discovery Channel to sad men in their bedrooms, to an esoteric Paul McCartney interviewing a perplexed Marshall McLuhan. Olsen is everywhere in this collection, echoing writers from Burroughs to Barthes throughout. The reader who doesn’t hold an MFA might feel the need to brush up on her postmodern literary theory before taking Olsen’s journey with him, but even if you don’t know your Helene Cixous from your Honey Boo Boo, there’s still plenty of fun to be had reading this collection.
Grant Gerald Miller was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He currently teaches creative writing at The Independent Publishing Resource Center and Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared or is set to appear in various journals including Hobart, Qu Magazine, Bartleby Snopes, Drunk Monkeys, and Fish Magazine‘s 2014 Anthology. You can find him most places @grantgeraldmiller.
Miranda Brooks has loving parents and a doting uncle who owns Prospero Books. Her uncle, Billy, celebrated each of Miranda’s birthdays by entertaining her with a scavenger hunt and a visit to the book store. Miranda relished these birthday hunts [...]
The View from Alameda Island is a story about two middle age people trying to dissolve their own tragic marriages, separately but at the same time and possible second chances in life. Lauren Delaney lived the high life according to her [...]
Paulo Coelho, the internationally popular Brazilian writer, has published 18 books to date ― fiction, non-fiction, and occasionally a mix of both. His most popular titles include The Alchemist, Pilgrimage, Adultery, and a novel entitled Spy. [...]