Julianna Spallholz – The State of Kansas

This week at Necessary Fiction I reviewed Julianna Spallholz, a début writer, for her collection of short and very short fictions, The State of Kansas.

A collection of flash fiction is an interesting body of work to consider as a whole. Unless specifically connected, each piece must stand on its own. Must create that flash of heat and light, that lightning bolt charge between the reader and the piece. In this way, flash fiction is a more difficult form than its longer cousin, simply because it doesn’t have the leisure of multiple scenes or voice-driven explanation or layers of detail to lure a reader into the collusion needed to make a fictional world come alive.

Julianna Spallholz’s collection of short and (mostly) very short fictions, The State of Kansas, is filled with many a lightning bolt, moments when her careful assembly of only a few words quite literally shocks, burns, scratches, and dazzles. There are pieces here—miniature worlds wrought of startling images and unsettling voices —that will echo long after a reader has finished and moved on.

As I mention above, I think that flash fiction is a difficult form in many ways. I have the sense that it either works or it doesn’t – because there isn’t any manoeuvering room with such small word counts, a flash piece has to strike hard, has to surprise the reader. On the whole I think that Spallholz’s collection is a real success. Her stories are clever when they’re funny and quite moving when they’re serious.

Read the entire review here.

Advertisements

Published by

Michelle

Reader, writer, translator, nature-lover, happy expat and concerned world citizen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s