Your Face in Mine:
by Jess Row
$27.95 List Price
In reviews of works of fiction, the word “Chekhovian” tends to lie somewhere between “subtle,” “nonviolent,” and “boring.” If a story collection isn’t funny, it’s Chekhovian. If it’s wistful and no one smashes anything, it’s Chekhovian. Hearing the word makes one think that somewhere out there must be a hugely influential writer, Bill Chekhov, who lives in a constant state of lowkey sadness.
That said, the stories in Jess Row’s second collection, Nobody Ever Gets Lost (FiveChapters Books, 2011), recall one aspect of actual Chekhov. As with Chekhov, the more we know about Row’s characters, the more we feel the impossibility of knowing them fully. Often, their own thoughts or actions surprise them. In “The World In Flames,” a young female backpacker hopes for casual sex with an expat, only to discover he’s
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