Shadowplay by Norman Lock

Shadowplay (Ellipsis Press, 137 pages) by Norman Lock, is the 2010 Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award recipient. Lock’s novella is a dense fable, mixing magic realism with self-reflexivity. The entire story is given to us in miniature at the beginning, such that the novella itself is really a constant retelling–a folding and refolding–rather than an […]

Shadowplay by Norman Lock

An uncanny tale of the limits and power of story telling, Shadowplay (Ellipsis Press, 137 pages) also works with a mesmerizing and subtle structure where the story repeats and folds into itself over and over again. Among Lock’s best work, it continues the self-conscious fascination and manipulation of the theme of “other” that appeared in works […]

Dactyl Foundation Award

For a number of years, publishing has been dominated by commercial fiction. Literary fiction novels and short story collections by small presses or independent authors have little chance of being noticed by reviewers or placed on bookstore shelves.  Even the literary fiction written by relatively well-known writers published by big houses has been pushed to the […]

Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions by Mario Bellatin. Translated by Cooper Renner.

Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions (Ravenna Press, 139 pages). In “Hero Dogs: A Look at the Future of Latin America Envisioned as an Immobile Man and His 30 Belgian Malinois Shepherds” (2000), the collection’s second fiction, Bellatin reduces the theme of atrophied human nature and skewed relationships, explored in “Chinese Checkers,” to absurdity.  In a nearly […]