Yesterday, Wednesday, January 18th, was the day of the Internet blackout boycotting SOPA and PIPA and since I am sympathetic to this cause, I tried to keep off Internet but it was difficult. Last night I had to take the online Jeopardy test (which I blew) and yesterday I got word from Jason Pettus of the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography that he posted this mini review on his site. It killed me to wait until today to post it.
Here is what Jason had to say:
“When it comes to literary anthologies, it can be nearly impossible sometimes to give an overall critical score to such a varying collection of stories, so today I’m not even going to try; instead, I wanted to at least call your attention to this remarkable new compilation, put together by Ellen Wade Beals and with her mounting essentially a one-woman war over the last year to try to get it out to a wider and wider audience. Inspired by the overwhelming sense of helplessness that Beals felt after the one-two punch of September 11th and Hurricane Katrina, this attempt to even define the word “solace” (which as Beals explains in her introduction is not quite “succor,” not quite “comfort,” not quite “love,” but perhaps a complex combination of them all) boasts an impressive list of contributors, including such big names as T.C. Boyle and Joe Meno; and while by definition the pieces themselves vary in quality from great to only so-so, in general I found this to be a very worthwhile read, a rare statement for me when it comes to anthologies. A good example of comfort food for the literary soul, it comes heartily recommended.”
Thanks to Jason Pettus and CCLaP!