The stories in William Lychack’s dazzling new collection, The Architect of Flowers, explore the dear and inevitable distance between people in loving relationships and find hope in dark situations. With tiny, precise details, Lychack observes the overlooked moments of everyday life—the small failings between parents and children, the long-held secrets in married life.
A small-town policeman brings himself to shoot a family’s injured dog; an old woman secretly trains a crow to steal for her; a hybridizer’s wife discovers the perfect lie to bring her family magically together again. Lychack’s characters yearn to re-enchant the world, to turn the ordinary and profane into the sacred and beautiful again, to make beauty serve as an antidote to grief. From ghostwriter to ghost runners to ghosts in a chapel, these stories are extraordinary portraits of life’s tender humiliations as well as its sharp, rude jolts.
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Other pieces cover an impressive range of emotional and imaginative territory: A woman buys chicks in the hope of raising chickens and getting fresh eggs only to find herself engaged in a perverse struggle with a mostly male brood and her skeptical husband;Jan 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Architect of Flowers
In stories like “Stolpestad” and “Thin Edge of the Wedge,” the play of pronouns and other verbal gymnastics succeed well, because they contribute to a larger purpose in the story.Mar 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Architect of Flowers
From ghostwriter to ghost runners to ghosts in a chapel, these stories are extraordinary portraits of life’s tender humiliations as well as its sharp, rude jolts.Mar 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Architect of Flowers
A police officer’s perspective begins in this way: “Was toward the end of your shift, a Saturday, another one of those long slow lazy afternoons of summer—sun never burning through the clouds, clouds never breaking into rain—odometer like a clock ticking all those bored little pent-up streets and...| Read Full Review of The Architect of Flowers
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