Douglas Watson's fiction collection The Era of Not Quite (BOA, 2013) is receiving even more praise this month, as a Vol.1 Brooklyn review calls the book "a promising start, and a clear-headed debut." The review seats Watson in the company of Samuel Beckett, Haldor Laxness, and Italo Calvino (readers might recall a One Story interview in which Watson cites Calvino's Invisible Cities as one of his favorite books). With focus on Watson's invocation of diverse styles--realism, fairy tale, surrealism--the review praises "unlikely ways in which certain aesthetics are blended and rethought." In particular, it highlights the way this mix of styles effectively conveys the book's quotidian subject-matter: "As the title might indicate, the subject of many of these stories is quotidian frustration or otherwise stifled lives, and Watson is at his best when channeling those all-too-mundane notions through a more surreal or stylized filter." "Several of the stories in The Era of Not Quite... blend the surreal and a detached delivery together movingly, taking what reads like an aphorism and bending it back towards intimacy ... Watson’s fiction displays a talent for condensed information, and a skill at blending formally known styles. As debut collections go, this one makes a good demonstration of the skills of its author." Click here to read the full Vol. 1 Brooklyn review. The Era of Not Quite is available now at the BOA Bookstore.
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