In handwringers, self is a half-baked hope gleaned from various media, populating page after page with chattering anxiety circling identity, authenticity, religion, and culture.This collection of short stories revolves around Jewish identity and the schlemiel — a figure in Jewish folklore described as "one who handles a situation in the worst possible manner or is dogged by an ill luck that is more or less due to his own ineptness." The schlemiel is not always apparent in the pages, but is continually evoked as a guiding concept, a tribute, an homage, and a narrative identity.
The length and arrangement of the stories approximate a chaotic mediaexperience: clips, soundbites, advertisements, shows, films, photographs, the all-at-onceinternet; a disembodied head spins like a top in green and black holographic space — is this thelikeness of a far-flung psyche or just a forgotten Much Music commercial? Collectively,moments of epiphany and/or crisis suggest fragments of self deliriously trying to assemble, clinging to would-be wisdoms and TV tag-lines, while failing to locate its/their misplaced community. It is a particularly apt book for our current world, where chaos and anxiety reign. (From Radiant Press)
Sarah Mintz is a Canadian writer, poet and author based in Victoria. Her work has been featured in Agnes and True, the University of Regina's [space] journal, the Book*hug Anthology and Write Across Canada.