The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell
In these brilliant, thematically linked stories, men and women from the Midwest to the West Coast, from Germany to Japan—engineers, opera singers, waitresses, teenagers, and monks—reckon with their body’s relationship to grief, illness, violation, technology, and genocide. They escape their fate in unusual ways—by befriending the squatting heroin addict next door, using a child’s flute as a gun in the dark, or ordering a new pair of legs, all in a variety of rich settings.
The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs is about the ways our bodies are marked by memory, often literally (burns, bruises, tracks, tattoos), and the risky decisions we make when pushed to the extreme. There’s a little O’Connor, a dash of DeLillo, and a cup of Alice Munro mixed together with a great deal of compassion. Leslie Campbell’s fiction debut is a must-read and sure winner.