Sunday, June 15, 2008

New This Month: Salvation by Lucia Nevai

Crane Cavanagh, the physically flawed but intellectually superior protagonist of Salvation (Tin House) started life in a short story “and fought for her life ever after,” author Lucia Nevai tells us at the very end of the novel.

This is 21st century fiction, perfectly rendered. Sometimes, it’s so beautiful, it breaks your heart:
With abject, slavish desire, with offhand, sloppy curiosity, with gratitude, with sedation, I was accidentally engendered. Never say the word rid around me. My mother tried to get rid of me. My face to this day is deformed, my forehead bumpy, puffy, and white as mold.
Nevai is a past winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. Her short fiction has appeared in all the right places, including Zoetrope, The New Yorker and Glimmer Train. Even so, her work is unexpected. At times, Salvation soars.

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