A lone bird chirps on the ground as it eats a worm coming out of dirt, Mike sits alone. A little further in the distance, Kyle is putting his wife inside the car, and then looks at his older brother still sitting down after the funeral. The bird flies off, and it then begins to rain heavily. Eventually, Mike gets up and walks away.
The leaf serves as an aesthetic departure point and thinking device through which contested issues are teased out. The End Begins at the Leaf thereby explores larger interrelations that range from the exploitation of land and people to the transformation of natural resources into commodities and their circulation in a global market economy. Is this how the end begins?
Before the End, After the BeginningDagoberto Gilb194 pages, hardcover: $24.Grove Press, 2011.Before the End, After the Beginning, Dagoberto Gilb's remarkable new fiction collection, begins with an arresting story written in lowercase letters, titled "please, thank you." The reason becomes clear when a nurse reminds the narrator that he's suffered a stroke, much as Gilb himself did in 2009, impairing the right side of his body and making capital letters difficult to type. In Gilb's characteristically natural-sounding and yet eloquent voice, the narrator describes the disorienting and infantilizing experience of waking up in a hospital, having lost control of his body and life: 2b1af7f3a8