Friday, October 07, 2005
We were ugly so we made beautiful things
By David Barringer
Introduction by Steve Almond
Barringer's third fiction collection includes 15 stories, a seven-page intro by Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal, and cover art and 8 illustrations by Eduardo Recife. Stories are thematically linked, as suggested by the title. We Were Ugly So We Made Beautiful Things . . . out of Wood, out of Pigs, out of Stairs, out of Somersaults, out of Brass, out of Magic, etc. The stories explore, with gentle humor and intelligence, the desires to create, build, salvage, and improve. Several stories are loosely connected by the same character, a young boy growing up who, in one story, imagines he can fly above the staircase and does, with fearsome results. In another story, he creates worlds in his basement from the junk accumulated by his unhappy parents. As a fourth-grader, he helps a geeky kid overcome his isolation and fear on the soccer field. And, finally, as a young man, he interviews for a job that promises what it can’t deliver, and he confronts his own future, his own dreams, in a single moment. Barringer weaves a bit of autobiographical material into several of these pieces, but his focus remains art, language, and the beautifugly human comedy.
Posted by Iren at 12:29 PM