Tenth of December
With this collection Saunders stays more in the realm of the real than usual, but he finds plenty of oddity in the workings of his characters’ minds. And what a variety of minds he credibly inhabits. In “Victory Lap” he describes a harrowing event through the inner dialogues of the three characters involved: the young teen ballerina, the high-strung boy next door, cowed by his stiflingly strict home life, and the mentally unstable man, dogged by his abusive past, whose violent act sets the story in motion. These stories feel full, the characters complex and multi-faceted, despite the inherent brevity of the form.