“The return of a master. Eugene Wildman helped to hone the cutting edge in the ’70s, and now he wields that edge like a surgeon. His new collection makes me proud to be a writer, but even more grateful to be a reader. This is a beautiful book.” Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Six Kinds of Sky
“The World of Glass is a significant collection of modern fiction. Sentences hammer out in staccato as Wildman again and again finds the language to contain his moral vision.” Valerie Sayers, author of Brain Fever
Eugene Wildman’s latest collection offers a wide-ranging tour of the final decades of the twentieth century. In a series of related stories, The World of Glass touches on the crucial issues and events that came to define and shape this period, including the corrosive impact of the Vietnam War. Through his protagonist, Todd White, Wildman explores the theme of spiritual isolation in a variety of gritty settings.
Issues of identity also play a key role in Wildman’s tightly-drawn stories, with look-alikes and the erotic attraction of the “Other” featured in pieces such as “Songbird,” in which there are two Juliets, and in a sense a third, and “The Waning of the Middle Ages,” in which a new tenant moves into Saul Bellow’s old apartment. Wildman’s stories are replete with the betrayal of love and lovers. The wounds inflicted by and for love haunt his characters, and yet they try vainly to hold on to love.
The stories in The World of Glass, though classic in the deepest sense, are also, in their varied way, distinctive and contemporary. This first-rate collection is the work of a powerful and accomplished writer.
“Eugene Wildman, the literary sorcerer of these pages, infuses his characters and their lives and their dialogs and their environs with such realism that the medium seems to disappear, leaving in its placehere’s the sorcerer at work—just its terrible and beautiful impact.” Wings Book Review
“. . . smolders with quiet grandeur.” Chicago Reader, January 16, 2004
“Wildman’s collection resembles life in its frailties—the doubts, the wrong decisions, and disappointments; he also shows the side of the World of Glass that shimmers.” — The Literary Review