Book review of Heather Fowler’s collection, “People With Holes.”
“People With Holes,” is a potent collection of magic realism that weaves the tragedy and deception in relationships, the holes of humanity and pulls all that subterfuge to the surface. Holes are actual holes on people that are visible, rooms become home to our scars, heads can be cut off of bodies and carried around, people shrink, turn into various animals, a museum of solitude holds all memories, a boyfriend’s belly is a flat screen of ocean the narrator can swim into while another’s penis is a white laboratory rat. It brings the metaphor to the tactile, the breathable, the living. Fowler’s work is inimitable and exciting. I don’t even want to call it magical realism so much as Heather Fowler tearing down those ‘load-bearing walls,’ to find out ‘what’s beneath the fabric’ of each human she explores.
“The closer you are to what you want, the more you are aware how not having it stabs your space. The space of ambiguities is worse still, amorphous, hovering between wanting and taking.”
This is a collection not to be missed. Each story is a talisman for a reproduction of a life. There is not one tale that doesn’t ring true. These stories actually bring memories to the forefront that have been buried deep in the soil of the mind, marked ‘please forget or at least deny’. Fowler is a master at digging into those trenches and watering what others would much rather let dry out. She plants her seeds in them and out come damn forests!
“I am so much water, so much steam. I am a dream diffused into a nightmare. Afterward, when he stands across the room from me, when he strides away, I can pinch his distance between my thumb and index finger. He is that small. I am that small for him too, at similar distances.”
Get a copy of “People With Holes,” if you don’t already have one.
Causes Heather Fowler Supports
San Diego Family Justice Center