Carla Blumenkranz on Jason Brown’s Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work
Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work:
by Jason Brown
$14.00 List Price
Perhaps the title of Jason Brown’s second story collection, Why the Devil Chose New England For His Work, begins with an interrogative because this is a book that believes in right and wrong answers. Most of the eleven tales describe exceptional instances in the lives of the residents of Vaughn, a fictional Maine town. It might be more accurate, however, to say that the town does the telling. Right-minded, rigid, yet deeply conflicted, Vaughn’s inhabitants collectively struggle to repress their less virtuous instincts. It’s no wonder that the devil chose this semimythical rural New England burg: No place could more vividly illustrate the nuanced conflict between good and evil.
Most families in Vaughn seem to share the same stories. When one of the Ingersoll men offers a description of his ancestors, it is as though
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