plastic explosives

by Zsuzsi Gartner

Swift famously described satire as: “a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” Zsuzsi Gartner has been touted as a satirical writer, and to the degree that her latest collection of short stories—a follow-up to 1999’s All the Anxious Girls on Earth—heaps scorn on a wide range of targets, the definition fits. Schadenfreude, self-righteousness, wanton materialism, hypocrisy: Gartner’s characters’ vices are many. The problem is that these characters are so extreme, their narratives so consistently and deeply unreliable, that most readers will be hard pressed to see anyone—let alone themselves—in them. Read more…