Apparently I’m on a short story kick lately, and that is definitely not a bad thing… with short fiction collections, you can sneak in a story or two in the morning, like Steph @ Bella’s Bookshelves, or on your lunch break if you’re me. It’s a perfect way to add a bit of lit to your day, especially if it’s canlit. Speaking of sneaking, Eat Your Heart Out, a collection of stories from newcomer Katie Boland is definitely a sneaky bunch. Coming to you from West coast publisher Brindle and Glass, it’s got a lot of love, a little death, some confused longing and a serious splash of muddled emotions that make up the brunt of these tales. I admired how Boland uses emotional situations in non-emotional ways. Instead of letting the sap – often reserved for love stories or lonely hearts clubs – run out all over the place, she writes almost matter-of-factly, and leaves a lot of the “feeling” up to the reader. These are some seriously lonely characters: full of regret, cowardice, and stubborn attitudes. You only get a glimpse into their lives but its enough so that you’re left wondering what might happen at the end of these personal shit-storms, brewing like hurricanes in mason jars.
I wouldn’t expect any less in the dialogue department from a screenwriter/actress, and so I thought it was expertly done. Other reviews have cited some shortcomings in Boland’s prose, but I didn’t find any of it hindering to the overall effect of her stories. I thought they were mesmerizing.
Stories to look out for are Mama, Monster and The Falling Action. Short and bittersweet, Eat Your Heart Out is a collection that turns the red, meaty inside out and that’s definitely something worth reading.