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Review- Steven Church

Review- Steven Church

Ratings: (0)|Views: 12 |Likes:
Published by Wendy Sumner-Winter
Appeared in Fourth Genre
Appeared in Fourth Genre

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Book
Published by: Wendy Sumner-Winter on Nov 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/12/2010

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In
The Day after the Day After
, Church takes a direct approach. Sort of.We still find him bouncing around between fantasy, history, and self, but the work is tied to a narrative arc and to place. The book assembles itself aroundhistory, around family; it peers into holes and basements and “the legacy of apocalypse.” It’s about Kansas, about the strange juxtaposition of banality andterror that Kansas holds for the American psyche, and for Church himself.He writes, “But if Kansas is more metaphor, more state of mind, then we’reall from there in some way.Church rewrites the stories of Oz, bringing the flying monkeys back tohaunt Kansas; and the
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TV docudrama
The Day After
, with the characterDanny Dahlberg, gives voice to Church’s younger self. We see the nuclearholocaust played out against Dorothy’s drab prairie. We see the developmentof a boy against the backdrop of a crumbling family. It’s a house of mirrors,really. We get glimpses of Church, of his family, but I’m not sure that we areever fully privy to the full-length view. But I don’t think that it’s becauseChurch is dishonest with us, or even that he’s hiding. This
is
a memoir, andit does tell the truth, but like any really good truth-teller, Church leaves us with more questions than answers.Let’s put it this way, or rather, let’s let Church put it this way: “This is all we can do. Runaway trolleys rattle through our brains. We’re glutton-fish forthe stories. Tell us more. Tell us we’re good.”
 —Reviewed by Wendy Sumner Winter

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