With Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, award-winning author Keith Rosson once again delves into notions of family, identity, indebtedness, loss, and hope, with the surefooted merging of literary fiction and magical realism he’s explored in previous novels. In “Dunsmuir,” a newly sober husband buys a hearse to help his wife spread her sister’s ashes, while “The Lesser Horsemen” illustrates what happens when God instructs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to go on a team-building cruise as a way of boosting their frayed morale. In “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light,” an estranged husband seeks his wife’s whereabouts through a fortuneteller after she absconds with a cult, and the returning soldier in “Homecoming” navigates the strange and ghostly confines of his hometown, as well as the boundaries of his own grief. With grace, imagination, and a brazen gallows humor, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons merges the fantastic and the everyday, and includes new work as well as award-winning favorites.
It’s official, Keith needs very few words to paint the sum of someone’s character in vivid color. Each of these 15 stories tells a tale of someone that feels familiar. I love how immersive his writing is, even in short stories, where you’re only with the characters for a few thousand words. You can’t help but understand their deepest emotions.
The Lesser Horsemen – This tales of the other 3 horseman is one I didn’t know I needed about the fab 4. We all know that death his here to stay, but what happens with the other 3 are no longer working out? This hilarious take on how God rehabilitates them was fitting for the pandemic we’re currently living in. Guess pestilence received a bit of contract work.
Winter, Spring, Whatever Happens After That – This one got me right in the feels. The way Becky feels about school, work, and her alcoholic father, so heartbreaking. The description in this was does so much for the emotional state of the characters, and the lives they lead.
Plus Brad Benske and the Hand of Light, and Dunsmuir – sooo many feels in such a short amount of words.
You’ll love this collection of stories if you enjoy works of fiction that don’t have an explicit plot, and are more character driven. If you like reading about topics that toe the line of magic and realism, and are tied together with deep emotions pick up this book!