STEPHEN BEACHY – Some Phantom/No Time Flat
Two haunting novellas that present a clear-eyed
and penetrating vision of contemporary America
In Some Phantom, a woman arrives in a strange city, fleeing an abusive relationship. She gets a job teaching disturbed children, explores the city, and fears her old life catching up with her, but must decide whether her increasing paranoia is a form of psychosis—or a new lucidity. A marriage of The Turn of the Screw and Carnival of Souls, Some Phantom explores the lines between memory and madness, fantasy and violence.
A distorted reflection of its predecessor, or perhaps its evil twin, No Time Flat elaborates on these themes. Wade grows up in isolation on the American plains, living most of his life in his dreams. Between the silences of his elderly parents and the permutations of his own fantasies, his childhood seems to last forever. Haunted by strange encounters and a shooting at his school, he finally escapes into adult life and becomes a wanderer, travelling across desolate landscapes marked by fleeting connections and unfathomable crimes.
“Some of the most interesting and exciting writing I’ve read in a long time. Not since Halldór Laxness have I been so simply surprised by the glamour and skill and darkness of another writer’s art . . . Writer to writer, I thank Stephen Beachy. This is how we live.”—Eileen Myles