Friday, May 1, 2009

On "In the Air a Shining Heart" by Lydia Copeland (1204 words) ****

Sometimes writers get on a rant. They string together sentences and images in pursuit of an object, a word, an emotion, a thing. I think of the first half of Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground. Admittedly, I'm not a big Dostoevsky fan; I tend not to go for maximalism, not to go for those huge books that throw everything into them including the author's grandmother's underwear and the shiny snowglobe the cat knocked off the dresser at age three. But for those fifty or one hundred pages in that first half of Underground, Dostoevsky proves entirely interesting. He's a man with an attitude, and as a reader, you're certain to know it.

The few short pieces I've read of Copeland's each draw me toward them in their own way. Copeland's a writer of great skill and style, able to evoke a moment or scene with just a few chosen words and to do it so well that you think, for a moment, wait, you stole that from my memory (and then wait, that isn't one of my memories!). But here, Copeland's tops even herself. This is a piece that makes me want to go out and write something, that makes me want to scream its words out in public, on a stage, in a concert. Like a really good song, it makes me want to live. Read the story here at Night Train.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

You just made my whole month! Thanks.