Daily Dose Pick: Fugue State

Brian Evenson’s short-story collection brings a legacy of mind-bending horror to the forefront of the literary psyche.

Evenson explores madness and paranoia through a bouquet of literary tributes: there are elements of Flannery O’Connor in its flourishes of religious violence, suggestions of Jorge Luis Borges and Jose Saramago in its philosophical meanderings, and an inevitable nod to Edgar Allen Poe in its bleakness.

The stories’ subjects are by turns disturbing and hauntingly plausible — in “Helpful,” a blinded man turns his home into a dark abyss in order to get closer to his wife, while “An Accounting” follows a revolver-wielding, self-defined messiah, and “Invisible Box” finds a woman trapped in the titular cell after an affair with a mime.

Throughout this roller coaster of psychological provocations, Evenson holds the reader with restrained language and endless imagination.

Explore Evenson’s website, read the Los Angeles Times review, check out Bookslut’s interview with the author, listen to him read short story “Younger,” and buy the book.