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Review by Christopher Shultz on Bookshots 2/26/14
“If we had to choose one writer to rebuild American literature after the apocalypse, the smart money would be on Stephen Graham Jones, who is in the process of reinventing literally every genre from the ground up. In States of Grace he offers up lean, deftly composed short-shorts that seem effortless but get a surprising amount done considering their style—like a deadly gang of smurfs.”
“The Noir in this collection may not be as graphic as in the other collections, but it is unmistakably present, one of life met in not too readily explained tranches. The forty or more story-panels come over seamed in quizzicality, an arcade of things known close at hand yet for those involved never quite finally sieved. In appearance they suggest one-offs, snapshot or footage, whether the small fare of growing up, school-time and family, or neighborhood and marriage. But this is also to deceive. Whatever the appearance of fragment each amounts to rounded-out storytelling, each plays across or into the unfolding whole. In keeping these dimensions tactically in balance, States of Grace gives pitch-perfect magnification to the volume’s scenes of provincial life.”
—A. Robert Lee from “Dark Illumination: The Story Collections of Stephen Graham Jones”
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