In Ev­ery Wave

Charles Quim­per Guil Le­feb­vre (Trans­la­tor) QC Fic­tion (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $16.95 (80pp) 978-1-77186-155-7

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Fiction / Nonfiction - MICHELLE ANNE SCHINGLER

Pierc­ing and com­pact, Charles Quim­per’s novella In Ev­ery Wave fol­lows a grief-con­sumed fa­ther through a vor­tex of re­gret and frag­mented fan­tasies. Here, sor­row is an ocean, and lost pos­si­bil­i­ties lurk be­hind ev­ery swell.

Spec­tral im­ages di­rect the fa­ther’s nar­ra­tion: of am­ber sand and pale sun­bathers, of an­i­mate worlds be­neath the sea where wa­ter crea­tures min­gle with lost chil­dren, of a for­est whose high branches fil­ter out a due sense of dan­ger. The fa­ther lost his daugh­ter, Beatrice, near the wa­ter—the ocean? a lake? a river flow­ing out to sea?—on a pre­vi­ously in­ward glow of a day, and has been strain­ing for hints of her since. He takes to the ocean on a ves­sel alone, search­ing for Beatrice, who is now spread among atoms, moon­stones, mem­o­ries, and flashes, and who waits to be joined.

As the fa­ther scrapes salt from the side of his boat to fla­vor his din­ners and tends to end­less cuts on his hands, di­rect­ing his ves­sel to­ward a cer­tain mael­strom, it be­comes un­clear what is real and what is not. His metaphors reach for the fa­mil­iar, if they some­times come out splin­tered, as though his pain is a prism that has frac­tured the spec­trum of what’s true.

Ob­ser­va­tions are col­lected in log book fash­ion for Beatrice, whom he’s sure he’ll en­counter: “At the helm in a sea tinted pur­ple like wine,” he ges­tures at her. “To­tal silence. No stars ex­cept a tiny pul­sar twin­kling in the great dome of the sky.” Ev­ery phrase is a foghorn, and ev­ery ut­ter­ance rasps.

Al­most too ten­der to touch, Quim­per’s book is both an in­ti­mate and a soli­tary act. Ap­proach­able in its aching but lovely turns of phrase, but a har­row­ing prospect for those nav­i­gat­ing their own losses, In Ev­ery Wave is a both vast and suc­cinct en­cap­su­la­tion of griev­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.