David Miklos’s novella Debris is at once spellbinding, innovative, and haunting. As this is his first book translated into English, by Tanya Huntington, Miklos is sure to garner many more devoted readers.
Debris is a web of short vignettes that are nonlinear and relatively plotless, though strikingly original. While holding her mother’s ashes, a daughter grapples with her loss. A man tries to make sense of his childhood and his complicated relationship with his mother. A woman tries to rebuild her life in an unfamiliar place with her newborn baby. In a struggling port town, a cafe hosts a club that debates the future. Supporting each other in their grief, a brother and sister navigate the pains of lost love. Readers who enjoy character sketches and are open to an unconventional narration will find Debris intensely compelling and wonderfully mysterious.
Miklos wields six individual narrators, mostly written in first-person, to explore the cyclical nature of love, birth, friendship, abandonment, hopelessness, and death. Each portrait in itself is incomplete; however, when read in the context of the other sections, they will make sense to patient readers. Although Miklos’s complicated narrative structure requires a careful reading, and possibly a few re-reads, to untangle the interconnected stories, it’s a worthwhile journey.
Perhaps the most captivating quality of Debris is its soothing, nostalgic tone supported by luscious lyrical prose. Powerfully evocative from start to finish, Miklos’s writing showcases his considerable understanding of character development and how to convey thoughts, feelings, and images with remarkably spare detail. Hopefully this will not be the last of Miklos’s work to be made available to English-speaking readers.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||120 pages|
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