A Sundance post to come, but as I hamster frantically to get caught up with schoolwork after my weekend adventure, a small reward for past work: I have a short story called “Superman Falling” in the the current issue of of Colorado Review.
When I arrived home from Park City, my check had arrived–woo hoo! It’s not big, but will cover the massage I plan to get. And then the editor was kind enough to send me this link to the Review Review. The author was generous with the journal as a whole, and also with my story.
The title of Barrington Smith-Seetachitt’s story “Superman Falling” comes from a joke someone tells at a high school reunion Sarah and her husband Alex are attending in Indiana. The joke is pretty funny until you find out why not everyone at the table is laughing. It’s brilliant of Smith-Seetachitt to make it a good joke so that the reader is laughing also before being blindsided by the revelation. At that point in the story, we become, as the saying goes, putty in her hands.
Sarah and Alex are tremendously sympathetic characters. They have suffered a loss, and “Superman Falls” is about the impact this loss has on their marriage. Of Alex: “He marvels that they can seem so together on the surface as everything is crumbling underneath.” Everything rings true. At a critical point, one of the characters, drunk, rides a mechanical bull—and doesn’t fall off. Smith-Seetachitt subverts our expectations more than once, just like life.
Stories on this topic are not hard to find. Anne Tyler’s novel The Accidental Tourist comes to mind. But “Superman Falls” is one of the best I’ve come across. It’s my favorite of the forty-nine pieces of prose and poetry in this issue.
I haven’t yet checked to see if other reviews by the author are more “balanced.” For the moment I’m just basking in the positive feedback.