A review of
I Go To Some Hollow
by Amina Cain
The surrealist concept of dépaysement refers to an induced displacement and disorientation, of seeing the world anew. In this debut collection, the dominant mood is this sense of wonder, shot through with nervousness. Amina Cain’s travelers view their surroundings with a curious emptiness, other times ecstasy, while adrift either abroad or in a distinctly American terrain: bodies of water, fields, or forests, the banality of a heated pool or the aisles of Home Depot.
Her characters are reminiscent of Jane Bowles’s Mrs. Copperfield, lost and stumbling through Panama City in Two Serious Ladies, watching and pondering. The title of the collection’s best story, “A Body Walking Through Space,” best describes this odd detachment. Cain’s characters are uncomfortable bodies who exist and meditate in the strangeness of space. It is fitting that one of her characters is a dancer—it is the awkward, lingering dance between bodies in space, the ambiguous gesture or glance, that best distinguishes Cain’s fiction.
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