Somehow it seems so fitting to have Bluegrass Symphony reviewed on the good old-fashioned radio. I haven’t heard the broadcast on Radio Adelaide’s “Writers Radio” programme, but Gillian Dooley’s transcript can be read in full here.
And so many wonderful things are said in this short review! Here’s a snippet:
Self-sacrifice is a frequent theme. In ‘Down the Hollow’ there is a new and bizarre take on the virgin sacrifice, instigated by one of the sinister ‘Reverends’ who figure in several stories. Slightly less harrowing is ‘Commonplace Sacrifices’, narrated by a strange little creature who in his (or perhaps her) devotion cheerfully dismembers himself – a finger here, an ear there – to provide practical support for a wife who is suffering the loss of her husband’s love. You’ll have to read the story to understand how this works, but it is a good example of how the stories are grounded in deeply perceptive emotional intelligence. The fantastic elements are not gimmicks: they serve the emotional logic of the stories, in every case.