There’s a certain slim-hipped, youthful muscularity to Andrew Porter’s 2008 debut collection, The Theory of Light and Matter, out this week in a lovely Vintage paperback edition. Coming, as we just have, out of a year of strong short fiction, it seems a great time to experience Porter if you missed him the first time around.
The hole was at the end of Tal Walker’s driveway. It’s paved over now. But twelve summers ago Tal climbed into it and never came up again.
Porter delivers suburbia just exactly as you’ve experienced it, but with all the dark corners intact, and some of them even lit right up. Normal people, across America, struggling to discover the meaning in their everyday lives. His voice is even, often understated, so much so that at times, the sharp details he is able to illuminate come as a delightful surprise.
After you’ve read him, the awards come as no surprise: this collection won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, he has received a James Michener-Paul Engle Fellowship, an Iowa Teaching/Writing Fellowship and he has won the Pushcart Prize. More to come? We hope so.