Shooting at Morals

My first anthology of short fiction, one of a planned series of three, deals with the topic of transgression. Eight diverse stories, where we are dropped into a defining crisis in the characters’ lives.

Here is the amazon link

Here is a brief interview I did for the book release:

What is this book about?

This is a book about transgression. It is the first in a three volume series of short fiction, the other themes being obsession and confession, respectively. Each protagonist seeks justice in their own way, but they must confront the social norms and moralities of the day and of their world in order to achieve it. Some are heroic, others not so much, and the reader will have to decide who is who to this regard. But the book is also a political and philosophical statement. In this sense its theme is the problem of ethics in a world of morals.

This is a perennial puzzle for all living beings, and follows us throughout the life course. So we see characters of all ages, men and women alike, with varying social statuses and disparate means and ends. The narratives are voiced diversely, reflecting the panoply of life as lived. The settings too are widely different, and the time period is just a few years before our present day to just a few years after it. We will be both delighted and dismayed, but we will recognize ourselves, intimately and desperately, somewhere inside the covers of this book.


How did you come to write this book?

Myth presents what is living with an allegory of itself. The writer lives a double life in this sense. One has experiences, and then one imagines them as having some wider meaning. We also might imagine that we can thus have some wider expectations of the world, stemming from our experience thereof and therein. This is precisely the point where myth begins and experience recedes.

My own experience in writing this first anthology of short pieces is also double. At first, I felt enervated and emboldened by it, but after a year, disconcerted. I had left most of my heroes in pieces, empty, or unable to love. Could they recover their own humanity? We will never know. But the experience of trying to make a life out of the world as it is lived by others is a heavy burden, and might well find us wanting at every turn. To express this in a series of brief vignettes, where the reader is dropped into the lives of the characters at a crucial moment, is both the essence of the short story and the essence of the homiletic.

So these stories also contain the germs of revolution and remediality both. Of a piece, they are meant, at least to myself as a reader, to spark in their readers the feeling of courage and desperation that accompanies all such life crises. They are, in the end, a very personal statement about how I feel about morality as a philosophical writer and social critic.