[stories]Book - 2007
“From the world that could not be saved, the storyteller salvages small, strange stuff and assembles it into a narrative of alarming beauty and mystery and sadness.”—from the introduction by Carole Maso
Southern California: land of dislocation and assimilation, a place Diane Lefer knows well. In California Transit, she uses conversational prose and macabre wit to zero-in on a Mexican woman detained indefinitely by immigration officials, isolating her from her American family; a zoo employee considering what to do with a euthanized antelope’s head; and, in the title novella, a lonely woman, riding buses all day, who cannot avert the violence building within her. This collection explores the difference between justice and law through a lens unfiltered by moralistic or didactic intention. Like a surveillance camera meant to record crime, not stop it, Lefer presents a world gone wrong, not because of people’s hatred for one another but because of their impossible, unfulfilled yearning to connect.
Diane Lefer is the author of two previous collections, The Circles I Move In and Very Much Like Desire, and the novel Radiant Hunger. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is an artistic associate of Playwrights’ Arena, volunteers with the Program for Torture Victims, and serves on the animal behavior observation team of the research department at the Los Angeles Zoo. She teaches in the MFA writing program at Vermont College of the Union Institute & University.