“Ed Falco is a master of the traditional short story, but he is also an exciting writer who is unafraid to cross genres and experiment with non-traditional forms. In the Park of Culture is a striking and engaging work that ranges from tightly compressed evocations of mood to tightly plotted ‘flash fiction.’” —Valerie Sayers, author of Brain Fever
In the Park of Culture is a collection of literary short fictions that explore the difficulty of keeping faith in a world wracked by war and violence, while also considering the redemptive possibilities of love. In the first section of the collection, the author suggests that “we are surrounded by pain and death and marked by time,” and then implicitly or explicitly questions how it is possible to have faith in anything at all in such a world. In Falco’s vision, war and the terrible violence that humans inflict on each other are among the chief horrors of this world. His work pushes readers to look at scenes of war and consider its awful legacy.
The second section of the book offers a glimpse of a world “where we worship and nurture with sheltering bodies.” Many of these fictions express an appreciation of a life of the senses, while exploring both the passions that are a part of an engaged life and the loss that so often follows love. Falco’s writing is poised at the intersection of cultural forces and personal desires, revealing how the larger currents of culture sweep over private lives. A powerful, sometimes shocking, book, In the Park of Culture will challenge its readers. Ed Falco’s innovative writing questions and even defies the notion of genre as it creates new forms.