Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Unruly Creatures"

Jennifer Caloyeras is a novelist and short fiction writer living in Los Angeles. Her debut short fiction collection, Unruly Creatures (2017), was published by West Virginia University Press. She is the author of two young adult novels: Strays (2015) and Urban Falcon (2009). Her short stories have appeared in Monday Night Literary, Wilde Magazine, Storm Cellar, Booth and other literary journals.

Caloyeras applied the Page 69 Test to Unruly Creatures and reported the following:
Wow, I was nervous to see what was on page 69 and found that we are dropped in the middle of a story called, "Bloodletting." In this story, a woman named Shea has just had a double mastectomy. Her brother, a leech doctor (think back to the days of yore when people with medical conditions would be “bled” to release toxins) is nursing her back to health in his home. At the same time, a meteor has recently crashed in their small town causing a gaping hole that a dairy cow has gotten stuck in. Shea finds a sisterhood with the cow in terms of feeling confined in her current situation. The meteor, it turns out, is radioactive and evacuation is recommended. On page 69, Shea has gone to tell her brother the news, that it’s time to leave. But when she gets to his office, she catches him in a compromised position:
She opened the door of the examination room and to her surprise, she found her brother, naked on the table, covered in leeches, looking like someone had glued large black jellybeans all over his chest. His eyes were closed, in a state of such ecstasy that even in her shock, she didn’t want to interrupt him. Intimacy like this shouldn’t be disturbed.
So, yes, while this is a small glimpse of a particular story, I think throughout my collection we get a glimpse of characters in moments of intimacy and alienation. These characters struggle to subvert, contain, control and escape their bodies through dark humor and magical realism.
Visit Jennifer Caloyeras's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Jennifer Caloyeras & Reba and Dingo.

--Marshal Zeringue