As you can probably tell from the past two book reviews, fall brings out the voracious reader in me, and I'm back with another review. Black Lawrence Press, a favorite, published Nominal Cases this year in March, and I've been hanging on to it since the summer waiting for a chance to read/write about it. I love reading more than I probably should, but being in school full time, and running Bruised Knuckles really fills my dance card. But enough excuses, we're here now!
According to Amazon:
Fiction. "Like his literary antecedents—John Barth and Jorge Luis Borges both haunt these pages—Thomas Cotsonas takes (and offers) great pleasure in the revelation that the central (though often occult) subject of fiction is always inevitably fictiveness itself. But clever and self-aware as these fictions are, they are also fully alive to the cathartic power of narrative, and the potential for a well-drawn character to show us something human, true, and surprising. NOMINAL CASES thrills both mind and heart—a rare delight."—Joel Brouwer
Nominal Cases is incredibly weird but also incredibly magnetic. The text is heady and smart, but still relatively accessible. Cotsonas draws frequently on a shared cultural knowledge, much like Billy Collins, but in much more heavily experimental way. The chapters are relatively individual short stories, but they compile into a fuller wholistic piece with over arching thematic significance. I think one of my favorite stories was 'The City's Father' but each of the stories stand on their own as individual works.
Nominal Cases won the 2014 St. Lawrence Book Award, and Cotsonas has been published in a multitude of journals ant lit magazines, including Web Conjunctions, 751 Magazine, Construction, Western Humanities Review, and even Ochreville.
Buy Nominal Cases here.
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