In A Gathering of Tribes Jim Feast has a perceptive review of Chavisa Woods’s new collection of stories, Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Midwest.
Feast sees in Woods’s work a tale of those who
have internalized their economic displacement into an imaginative impoverishment, which is fearful and antagonistic to departures from the anemic status quo, whether they involve gender-bending, Goth dress or playing with Troll dolls.
Should a grown man confront the child molester who abused him when he was a boy? Jarvis is going to travel to Richmond, Virginia to face his former tormentor and find out. But he gets side-tracked along the way, and his narrow world is blown open by an assortment of off-the-wall characters, including a tattooed punk rock mannequin artist who inspires him with her fearless appetite for all things life.
“Cold Plate Special,” by Rob Widdicombe
When the climactic confrontation with the defiant pedophile becomes a chaotic exercise in firearms, corkscrews, bitch slaps and mannequin sex, Jarvis is truly never the same again.