Renee Alberts's Reviews > The Physics of Imaginary Objects

The Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall
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's review
Jun 15, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Read in March, 2011

Tina May Hall is clearly a writer who pays exquisite attention, a collector of news stories and ordinary facts whose inclusion in her prose sparks it to life. The table of contents is enough to pique any reader’s curiosity, with titles like “Skinny Girls’ Constitution and Bylaws,” “Faith Is Three Parts Formaldehyde, One Part Ethyl Alcohol” and “There Is a Factory in Sierra Vista Where Jesus Is Resurrected Every Hour in Hot Plastic and the Stench of Chicken.” The collection abounds with quotidian detail and quirky trivia that instantly develop characters and settings. Her writing is electric, sizzling with precise description, impeccable timing and masterful rhythm. While their darkly magical tone and grounded detail connect the stories, they vary in style, including fables, flash fiction, a novella, lists of fragments from poems and historical records, even a prose sonnet. Some sentences are weighted with so much implied narrative, their collective force creates worlds more than stories, as in “Our mothers won’t let us sit on their laps” or “For a moment, I think you are going to propose to me in front of the fry-bread cart, but you are just tying your shoe.”

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