Laura Eve Engel & Adam Peterson
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Winner of the 2011 Collagist Chapbook Contest
"This sharp, extraordinary collection brilliantly defies all that needs defying; I propose we get it to every airplane seat pocket, hotel nightstand, waiting room, and spinning book rack so that more readers have immediate access to the possibilities of the written word." —Susan Steinberg, author of Hydroplane
[SPOILER ALERT] is a catalogue of ruin, of possibilities reduced to explanation. Families are not families, love is given and taken away, bears are still bears—in these 36 tales the world wrenches with confessions both tragic and funny, leaving behind stories no simpler for having been told.
They're not your family and they never were. At times they could have convinced anyone. The one you thought was your mother makes pies and folds clothes. The one playing your sister smells like grass stains and rivalry and her room is full of things you want. Your faux-father is real gone. Your un-uncle has your nose. The house where your non-grandmother lives is down the street and had to have one of those stair-climbing chairs installed because she’s getting older just like your real grandmother would've. Frank, your step-fake stepfather, has always been so kind that you don’t think to question him when he calls a family meeting in the back garden. There, where the flowers Frank trained along the fence last summer are in bloom, the anti-family's gift to you will be to tell you who they are and who you aren’t. Something you’ve been careful to keep cool at the very center of you starts to rot. The woman who looks like your mother asks you to call her Joyce as she makes iced tea and tells you you only thought you liked the sound of the wooden spoon against the glass jug. Then she says, It'd be best if you left first thing in the morning because you know how the poor dog gets around strangers.