There was travel and read and kid sleeping and here we are, more read, more books, more riff. And we are talking Tongue Party by the Sarah Rose Etter and Three Ways of The Saw by Matt Mullins, one, the former, we long intended to read, and the second, the latter, just magically appeared at our doorstep from those endlessly cranking literary elves at the Atticus Books. We are also talking stories, and maybe gender differences, can we do that? We can, yes, maybe, or is it gender difference speculations? Is there such a thing? Either way Etter writes of pain, of women, of what women lose or sacrifice to be here because men are here as well, fathers and husbands, and she does so with little jabs of beauty, that are sometimes, often times crushing, though none more so than the title story, which still upsets us just thinking about it.
Mullins on the other hand writes of those men, all men, any men, and their struggles to be whole, to grow and find their way, which is maybe based on the mere fact that they are men to begin with, though regardless, they are teeming with anger and a lack of fulfillment, dragged down by women, they think, though mainly it seems to be their own inability to become what they think they should be. They are men who lack the proper road maps for navigating the world around them, something Etter's characters just might possess, in a different, better, less fucked-up world than the one they, and we, know all too well.