Catapult - Emily Fridlund

Staff Pick

Reality is hard to trust in Fridlund’s shimmering stories. A man refers to his wife only as A, as if she’s an indefinite article. Another man keeps his father in a state of quantum uncertainty by telling people he’s “gone” rather than dead, while a woman is advised that she’ll feel better if she says her ex died. What seems elusive or contradictory may be the characters’ ingenious way of keeping their balance. A couple divides their relationship’s emotional labor, one person taking on “bad behavior” and the other “guilt.” A woman loves her boyfriend for his “well-organized” heart—comforting, maybe, but hardly romantic. In one story, dolls are left at the curb with a “SAVE US” sign, in another they’re lined up in a driveway to be run over. Fridlund’s stories are also full of accidents, animals, divorces, and games. The games let people cope with all the rest, and the most powerful games are the mind games.  Imagine yourself somewhere else, a girl tells her troubled brother, and you will be.  It works. And so memories become dreams, and someone else’s dreams could be as accessible as “books on a shelf.” Waking life is no less fluid and shifting: a dog is taken for a bear and a child mistaken for a dog. “Trees grow woolly as beasts with snow.” And none of this is strange—it’s “just one of the ways the universe worked.”

Catapult: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946448057
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Sarabande Books - October 10th, 2017

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