"Humans are complicated, and I find that complexity—even as it pertains to murderous behavior or planetary sabotage—fascinating and repulsive in equal measure."
The latest book by Laura Sims, Staying Alive (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016), doesn't pull punches. The world is on fire, the world is ending, and it is highly unlikely we are going to get out of this mess. Yet, somehow, as Cormac McCarthy writes in The Road, there are moments of relief, even beauty. Sims renders the apocalyptic terrifyingly gorgeous, desirous even:
You were always a murmurous forest
But now you are
Referencing texts as varied as Bradford Angier's How to Stay Alive in the Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, the TV series Battlestar Galactica, and Svetlana Alexievich's Voices from Chernobyl, Sims's tone is one of both commiseration and warning: "Not simply torn between longing and safety / But torn." We want to forget. We want to start over, but we're not sure we can.[ Read More ]