Arts & Culture

Staring at the Ruins

Brimming with tales from the noir side, James Lasdun’s new book of short stories reveals the author’s origins as a talented poet and lover of Gothic fiction. Set mainly in the backwoods of upstate New York or in rain-soaked London, … Read More

By / August 7, 2009

Brimming with tales from the noir side, James Lasdun’s new book of short stories reveals the author’s origins as a talented poet and lover of Gothic fiction. Set mainly in the backwoods of upstate New York or in rain-soaked London, where Lasdun was born, the book is rife with middle-aged men and women ill-equipped to break with their worn-out neuroses, marriages and places of origin.

Like such masters of dark literature as Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka, Lasdun limns the deep cracks in the soul even as his tales are enlivened by his gift for insight and ear for language. His stories are a fury of elements: skilled dramatic monologues; sketches of fraught emotional states; postmortems of choked lives and numbed hopes and the literary equivalent of stares at the ruin left by a violent storm.

View the full article in the Miami Herald.