The Moss Gatherers
A sense of the bizaree unique to the Pacific Northwest runs through these short stories: a French cyclist is murdered by supposed "moss gatherers" in costal Oregon; a child has fungus growing on his forehead; and an old woman wearing a crown of lit candles plays a Victrola in a cornfield. The stories are infused with a sense of decay and stagnancy lit by surprising flickers of human decency, however small: a young girl plays boogie-woogie at her brother's wedding, and her family dances; an old woman tried to comfort a grieving teenager; and a woman preoccupied with safety leaves her front door wide open one night for the sake of a lost bird. Through these stories, we realize that the bizarre is always at the periphery of our otherwise mudane lives, and when we meet it, we are offered the chance to be forever changed.Matt Briggs is the author of the Remains of River Names, Misplaced Alice and the forthcoming Shoot the Buffalo.
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