Like Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Kevin Clouther’s Maximum Speed moves across time and point of view to dramatize youth’s aftershocks. The unifying presence in the lives of three characters is Billy, an apprentice drug dealer in South Florida. His improbable appearance twenty years after his death reconnects Nick, Andrea, and Jim with each other and with the shared secret of their past.
Named for the glassy, mazelike structures that can form underground when lightning strikes sand, Fulgurite weaves together reality and myth. Informed by fairy tales, domestic fabulism, and environmental concerns, Catherine Kyle examines gender on large and small scales. Patriarchal influences in domestic spaces are compared to patriarchal influences on national and global levels, and identity is made complex by the fusion of survival, dissociation, and promise. The collection bears witness to the grief of the everyday while simultaneously pursuing hope.