And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges

Liveright: Norton. Feb. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9781631496202. $23.95. F
Irreverent and clever characters take center stage in Sparks’s latest collection (May We Shed These Human Bodies). The pieces here are beyond the classification of any one genre, borrowing from fairy tales, fantasy, coming-of-age, modern life, and social commentary. In “Everyone’s a Winner at Meadow Park,” a teenage girl navigates life in a suburban trailer park, while haunted by the ghost of a boring pioneer girl. In “Is the Future a Nice Place for Girls,” an ominous and anarchic future threatens a castle. “Our Geographic History” chronicles the demise of a relationship through Midwestern cities and existential locations. Zeus is a stereotypical modern dad in the sketch “In Which Athena Designs a Video Game with the Express Purpose of Trolling her Father.” In “When the Husband Grew Wings,” a dull husband grows wings after his wife sprinkles a mysterious powder on his cornflakes. Does he notice?
VERDICT Each story is vivid, unexpected, and satisfyingly weird. Darkly comic and whip-smart, this collection is recommended for readers of Aimee Bender and Alexandra Kleeman.

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