i’ve a review up at fanzine of Lynn Crawford’s wonderful new novel: SHANKUS & KITTO. here’s a bit from it:

Lynn Crawford’s new novel is an inside-out family epic where, instead of the usual sweep of generational time, we are given a perspective that allows us to see familial heartbreaks as a telescoping and ever repeating fractal… Crawford is an accurate, sometimes mordant, more often earnest, observer of a new normal… Crawford’s voices capture a particular type of everyday speech. William Carlos Williams, arguing for an American (immigrant) context said that his work derived from “the mouths of Polish mothers.” By writing in a poetry of vernacular, Lynn Crawford has similarly and bravely gone against the grain and in doing so has slyly re-constructed the family epic.

read the rest of the review here:

but the book here.



SIMPLY SEPARATE PEOPLE was a delicious act of worldbuilding which viewed its characters through an unexpected slant angle. the result was a very familiar but hard-to-put-your-finger-on strange depiction of the every day. personable, a book easy to fall into, as its characters’ hardships and motivations are recognizable and crawford’s view of them is generous and refrains from judgment. here’s the beginning:


and now, just published, is SIMPLY SEPARATE PEOPLE, TWO. less a sequel so much as a second variation on her theme of the quotidian mixed with the uncanny. the focus here is storytelling, our urge to be storytellers, and what stories tell about its teller. crawford has her suburban mother narrator retell stories by hemingway and henry james in such a way that our view of ourselves turns almost unconsciously satirical and/or creepy.

Here is what happens. One morning, a mom, pretty, dressed in a sweat suit, sneakers, approaches me at morning drop off. She tells me I look fit and wonders if I exercise. I tell her we have a swimming pool on our roof and, in warm weather, I sometimes swim there. But otherwise, no, not really. She tells me she and a group of mothers go to a nearby gym ever morning to triathlon train, and invites me to join them. Maybe tomorrow?

She points to the group. There they stand. Oh, I think, those women. I have, honestly, noticed them, admired them, felt dwarfed by them. They are not the professional moms, carefully dressed, with no time to linger. Not the tired looking moms carrying chewed up sippie cups, wearing sweat suits that they might have slept in, with strands of dog hair on the seat, huddling together, complaining about how dirty their kitchens are, how much weight they have put on. Not the moms in tunics and flip flops, dreamily heading off to yoga or meditation. No. these moms wear pony tails under sports caps, tinted moisturizer, clear lip gloss and seem to be (like the professional moms) in a hurry, or at least revved up (99-100).

SIMPLY SEPARATE PEOPLE, TWO is a magical machine whose innards are in plain view but whose operating principles remain profoundly mysterious. a dazzling feat of collage and reverse-engineering, crawford writes in a deceptively easy-going style that’s both critical of and generous to all our sad and beautiful scurrying around.

pick it up from SPD or the publisher or your local library.

Simply Separate People by Lynn Crawford


i absolutely loved this one… the sentences seem thought thinking in this one, clever but not ostentatious. character is created by language rather than by event. though, that said, there might, if not for events and circumstance, be only one character. but i loved that character. she was smart and curious and acknowledging of pain and conscious of privledge. an unexpected sincere pleasure.

consume via amazon.

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