Nothing Could Be Further from the Truth: Stories

House of Anansi. Feb. 2022. 248p. ISBN 9781487010331. pap. $17.99. F
DEBUT Commonwealth Short Story finalist Evans excels at succinct portraiture, saying a lot with a little in brief, intriguingly premised stories whose characters don’t rub along gracefully in the world, often seeking to reinvent themselves. A man whose strongly opinionated partner has left him isn’t even accepted by the coyotes he follows one night (one “seems to shake its head like we were wrong about you, guy, you are not the one for us”), while another man stumbles uncomfortably as he encounters former teachers and classmates when revisiting his grade school for his nephew’s science fair. Heartsick Nora can’t connect with coffee-shop coworkers or a boyfriend who can’t be bothered to follow up on a defective gift he’s given her but finally manages to have the cinematic moment she wants with a customer. Nine siblings who work together like a well-oiled machine when their mother leaves (again) are disrupted when she returns (again), though for some of them resistance is thankfully setting in.
VERDICT A refreshingly different debut collection from a writer to watch.
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