• Double Dutch, Laura Trunkey
      Astoria/ House of Anansi Press, 9781770898776, March 14, 2017 (Fiction)

      A young refugee boy who may or may not be the lead in the Second Coming but who is definitely the answer to one failing church’s prayers; an otherwise unremarkable man who is conscripted to be Ronald Reagan’s double and takes his job a little too seriously; six sisters, not all of whom are among the living, who turn their family homestead into a highly irregular hospice and become romantically entangled with their patients, both living and newly dead —Trunkey’s remarkable debut collection of stories, Double Dutch, circles life’s mysteries from unexpected vantage points in these plausibly fantastic stories. I can’t wait to see what she does next. If you enjoy Flannery O’Connor, Jennifer Egan (A Visit From the Goon Squad), Karen Russell (Swamplandia), or simply great writing that surprises and entertains, you will find something to love in these stories by a gifted young writer.

      -Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)

      Double Dutch is full of magical short stories that remind me of why I love this genre.

      -Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop (Sewickley, PA)

      This is a great collection of short stories that are unusual, strange, or feature unexpected twists, such as an utterly incapable and hopeless single mother whose baby begins to speak Arabic in his sleep (is he a budding terrorist?) and a mournful husband who senses that his bear-mauled wife in the ICU is beginning to show signs of adopting part of the spirit or soul of her bear attacker. In the title story, the body double of Ronald Reagan recounts his White House stay, and the narrative goes a long way to explain some of the bizarre things that went on during that administration. However, as Reagan succumbs to Alzheimer’s, the double, no longer needed, is curtly dismissed. It ends with the most sorrowful line: ‘This is my final punishment — what a man gets for loving another man’s wife.’

      -Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common (Ridgefield, CT)

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