It’s all about loss. Don’t kid yourself. Even a simple game of catch is hinged on the moment the ball leaves the glove, the moment it returns. Don’t even try to think this story or any other story is about something else.
In Catch, Release, Adrianne Harun’s second story collection, loss is the driver. But it’s less the usual somber shadow-figure of grieving than an erratically interesting cousin, unmoored, even exhilarated, by the sudden flight into emptiness, the freedom of being neither here nor there. In this suspended state, anything might happen―and it does. Harun’s most realistic stories are suffused with mystery, while her more fantastic tales reveal startling truths within the commonplace. In diverse settings that include, among other places, a British Columbian island, a haunted Midwestern farmhouse, a London townhome, and a dementia care facility overpopulated with dangerously idle guardian angels, characters reconfigure whole worlds as they navigate states defined by absence.
In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly Native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances–until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town, and it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them. In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative, a broken world rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.
In stories that move deftly from the magical to the mundane, the simple to the surreal, The King of Limbo showcases a mature talent that calls to mind such greats as Alice Munro and Andre Dubus. Here are drifters, waitresses, horse trainers, housewives, a Nigerian foreign exchange student, a fisherman's wife, a cat with a cause. Blending magical realism and a pitch-perfect ear for the expressions of the human heart, Adrianne Harun presents a cast of unforgettable characters caught in limbo between their reality and their dreams.
The relationship between writers and artists has long been a collaborative one. Plato used the word ekphrasis to describe what happens when a writer writes creatively, as opposed to critically, about art. Gertrude Stein clamed that her innovative writing style was inspired by the paintings of Cezanne—and then went on to tell Hemingway to study Cezanne if he wanted to learn to write.