Weekend Rumpus Roundup


In the latest “The Last Book I Loved,” S. Hope Mills tackles the thriller-esque 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson’s talents are strong enough to spook even the avowedly un-spookable—that woman, Mills admits, “knew what it meant to be haunted.”

And Heather Partington reviews Maude Casey’s novel inspired by the true story of a 19th century man “afflicted by ‘traveling fuge,’ or dromomania.” The Man Who Walked Away is a careful analysis of the connection between language and memory, filtered through the lens of a truly unique doctor-patient relationship. The book gives us the sense, Partington argues, that the unique case alters the doctor’s character and also, “in some small way—the burgeoning field of psychology, too.”

Then, Cynthia Cruz offers an insightful interpretation of Fanny Howe’s newest collection, Second Childhood, in which the twin aesthetics of narrative and experimental poetry play an important role. “Howe’s work is centered in the world,” Cruz writes, “its dirt, muck, poverty and illness, and in the spiritual.”

Lastly, in the Sunday Essay, C.W. Cannon describes a chilling coincidence of events in his hometown of New Orleans. The memory of the grisly murder of one of Cannon’s childhood classmates serves as the backdrop for a present-day filming of the popular FX television series, American Horror Story. “Being from New Orleans,” Cannon writes, “’means living with the paradox of beauty rooted in blood.” The seeming incongruity is telling and profound.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →