Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This Book Will Change Your Life - All The Roads That Lead From Home by Anne Leigh Parrish.

There is a short story writer we like, love, something, who's work reminds us of Raymond Carver in its despair and evocative use of place, place as character and tone. And this might be lazy thinking, or unimaginative on our part. An inability to articulate how we feel about our experience of reading their work without the crutch of referencing someone else's work. Raymond Carver's no less. Yes, that Ramond Carver. We say all this, because when we met said writer, we mentioned this, and said writer said, don't compare me to Raymond Carver, to which we replied, you don't like Carver, to which they said, don't compare me to anyone. To which we say, nice, okay, got it. We also say this, however, because with All The Roads That Lead From Home, Anne Leigh Parrish has been compared to Raymond Carver, and we get that, we do, but we are now way too self-conscious to say so. Which is not to say there isn't a sense of decay in Parrish's work that is not in fact reminiscent of Carver. Because there is in the oozy, gray trickle of despair washing over the damaged women in these stories as they try to make sense of their not quite functioning relationships, and the relationship between these relationships and their boozy, absent, alcohol-drenched fathers. All of which is to say, that All The Road That Lead From Home may or may not remind you of Raymond Carver, but it will certainly change your life. If only momentarily at that.     

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