Upstate Dispatch: Which One Were You?

Upstate Dispatch: Which One Were You?

by Harris Lahti

As I drive, the country highway’s pattern of overgrown campgrounds, boarded-up motels, and stretches of impenetrably dark woods begin to resemble a series of horror movie sets, at last punctuated by a white-steepled church illuminated with halogen lights. I pull into the parking lot the church shares with an enormous prefab building of black corrugated steel. Skate Time.

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Two Novels, Fat and Thin: Keith Gessen’s A TERRIBLE COUNTRY and Ryan Chapman’s RIOTS I HAVE KNOWN

Two Novels, Fat and Thin: Keith Gessen’s A TERRIBLE COUNTRY and Ryan Chapman’s RIOTS I HAVE KNOWN

by J.T. Price

To further the comparison between the two texts, certain thematic valences notwithstanding, Chapman’s debut is an all but negative image of Gessen’s sophomore effort—disjunctive where Gessen’s narrative is straight ahead; knowing and bawdy and essentially unconcerned with portraying human relationships at any great length, while that effort forms the pith of A Terrible Country; over-brimming with uprooted wit whereas Andryush walks, block by block, to discover where he might truly belong.

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