Sunday, October 23, 2016

Last Wish & The Gulf by Poppy Z Brite

Title: Last Wish & The Gulf
Author: Poppy Z Brite

There are very few authors in the world who'll immediately make me drop everything I'm doing to go and purchase and read their work immediately, and Poppy Z Brite is one of them. Brite's writing was HUGELY influential on me when I was younger. He's not so much heavy on plot but more on atmosphere and description, with settings that are so tangible, you can smell the miasma of the river water and feel the stickiness of the grains of sand while you walk along the banks.

These two sort stories represent and ending and a beginning (I hope) as Brite hasn't released new fiction for a decade. "The Gulf" was the last piece he worked on before he went on a hiatus, and examines the sense of place that creeps into a person. Mired in nostalgia, it evokes environment and personal nostalgia in the aftermath of Katrina.

"Last Wish" is a deceptively simple flash piece with a wicked little hook at the end that made me gasp in delighted horror. It's short, it's nasty and it's *tight* and I truly hope that this marks the author's return to writing because this piece is *good*. The writing is tighter, has more punch than older works but features all the characteristic mood.

Brite remains my go-to for descriptive writing that paints a vivid, visceral environment.

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