Joe Schall

Indentations and Other Stories

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Indentation and Other Stories is a collection of nine stories ranging from the wildly funny and idiosyncratic to the downright bizarre. The title story features a pathological dentist who seeks a quirky catharsis by decorating his apartment in hygienic dental paraphernalia. Other tales frolic through the lives of characters who border on the delightfully absurd: a woman, after going through menopause, struggles to recreate her menstrual periods by altering her diet; a former New York street reporter, fired because of his “ideals,” aspires to become a credible street person and decides, tentatively, to have a religious experience; an English major turned psychologist writes a pseudoscientific “article”—complete with footnotes and a University of New Jersey cover letter—which argues, by example, for the use of figurative language in scientific journal writing. Other stories are more humanizing: “The Perils of Asthma” is a sympathetic lok at a twelve-year-old boy struggling to grow up amidst his perplexing asthma, his eccentric Catholic parents, and his mystifying quasi-erections. All of the stories are grounded in the allure of language, the luxuriance of detail, and the celebration of human compulsion and obsession.
This book is currently unavailable
180 printed pages
Original publication
1990
Publisher
NYU Press

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