The Lawless River by Shaun Turner
February 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
Having recently started editing the chapbooks I’m working on for 2016’s production schedule, I’ve been reflecting on the chapbooks Red Bird put out during 2015. They are definitely the best we’ve put out yet, and as such, I’m a little ashamed I didn’t do more to promote them. No doubt, it was a busy year for me and my family, but I am hoping to make up for it now by highlighting the books I helped put together now. I recently wrote up a piece about Christina Olsen’s Law & Order obsessed The Rook and the M.E. as part of the fan-fic recommendation section over at slashserial.com, and but here I want to highlight Shaun Turner’s The Lawless River.
The first thing that grabbed me when I read the collection was the prose: the clear and simple music of it that beautifully evoked its rural southern setting without descending into overwrought twangs and g-less gerunds. It was that setting that kept me in the collection, though, and had me coming back for multiple reads, finally getting me to pick it for publication.
In the nine shorts that comprise this debut collection, we’re treated to a lively look at Turner’s native Kentucky. Setting comes to life in these stories as we tour a land where folk are as likely to pass the time waiting to capture a snake in a noose as they are to be caught up in a great flooding river. Readers, similarly, will find themselves ensnared by Turner’s gorgeously simple prose, wanting to inhabit these small towns, rural creeks, pumpkin growing contests, and church revivals for as long as possible.
So click on over to Bartelby Snopes to read “Everything Blooms”, one of my favorites from the collection, and if you like it, click on over to Red Bird and get your very own copy of the hand-sewn The Lawless River by Shaun Turner.