In the Devil’s Territory

Previously anthologized for his standout "A Day Meant to Do Less," Kyle Minor now releases a collection of troublesome-to-define writing, all of which is available online.

Book Digest Sometime last year, I commended the George Pelecanos-edited The Best American Mystery Stories 2008, which included a riveting story by Floridian Kyle Minor, “A Day Meant to Do Less.” It turns out Dandy Dan Willett’s fledgling imprint Dzanc Books is publishing Minor’s debut collection, In the Devil’s Territory, which in addition to the above-mentioned story includes five short fictions. One of the marvels of new media is, in this case, you can read parts or the whole book.

What struck me about these stories was largeness of scope—maybe they are that troublesome (to define) literary form, the novella. The title story has a schoolteacher in East Berlin swimming to freedom (thrice, carrying her elderly relatives) with the intention of teaching in West Palm Beach, Fla. “A Day Meant to Do Less,” which got my attention and should get yours, presents a preacher’s elderly mother mistaking him for a long-forgotten cousin she witnessed kill his brother, in the long ago of her youth, and her recounting of her life. Minor can, as the sports people say, get it done—he can flat-out write. My suggestion: Get with it.
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