29 February, 2012

Dzanc Prize Winner: Eugene Cross

I’m over at the Huffington Post with a review of Eugene Cross’ Fires of Our Choosing. (Dzanc Books, March 2012). There’s a taste of it below. You can read the full review here.

As Eric says in the title story, “Dignity was a faraway country from which I had been exiled years before, a place I could hardly recall.” Indeed, very little of it is permitted the underclass of this nation, a fact that creeps up on the reader as these stories unfold, one after another, bringing news of realities so rarely addressed by contemporary writers. How noteworthy is it, then, that Cross offers no apologies for his characters: their poor choices, their lack of moral fortitude, their betrayals of each other and the poverty of their surroundings and, often, themselves; he leaves these things alone. They are who they are, and if dignity has been denied them by the rest of us, including us story-tellers, it is restored by this collection. That he has undertaken to serve as their raconteur should place Cross on the radar of all the big prizes that gift those blessed with talent, compassion and fearlessness, particularly during this present moment in our history.

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The Books:

The Books:

On Sal Mal Lane

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war.

A Disobedient Girl

A Disobedient Girl is a compelling map of womanhood, its desires and loyalties, set against the backdrop of beautiful, politically turbulent, Sri Lanka.