These uncaged micro-fictions claw at their cream-colored context, crouch on the page, oozing hostility, catlike, and insatiably curious, waiting for the next reader, the next fearless trainer to breathe them into existential space and coax them through art’s flaming hoops.
Ana Maria Shua, via the crisp translations of Steven J. Stewart, unleashes her circus fictions on us with dreamtime logic and dangerous humor. Beware of the clowns; some of them are dead men. Distrust the trapeze artists; they somersault from one universe to another. And for God’s sake stay clear of the magician; he’ll plunder your dreams to intercept and terminate your most secret wishes. One more thing: read Shua’s history pieces with a jaundiced eye. I don’t believe for a moment that William F. Cody was a happy man. But it would appear that Diane Arbus, before her suicide, was a happy woman. For more of my review of Without a Net go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2012/08/without-net-by-ana-maria-shua.html