Eric’s serialized novella, “Rene,” published on Fiddleblack, was reviewed by Tom Gold for Tom Gold Books. The review can be found in its entirety here.
“There is darkness here but it is definitely not of the clumsy, unremitting variety. Instead it is pierced with flashes of hope and kindness.”
“This is billed as the opening of a three-part novella and having finished reading it last night, in one sitting, I’m almost disappointed to know I’m already a third of the way through.
Rene cares for her sick mother in their dilapidated homestead somewhere in the Deep South of 1950’s America. Despite her mother’s tough-as-hoof-tacks Southern grit and Rene’s rock steady calmness, it is clear that Lilah is dying. A chance encounter offers the possibility of a cure from an unexpected source, but both Lilah and Rene have grave misgivings.
There is darkness here but it is definitely not of the clumsy, unremitting variety. Instead it is pierced with flashes of hope and kindness. There is also intimate and unpleasant graphic detail associated with Lilah’s illness, but again, it is not the centerpiece of this excerpt and serves instead to add a sense of urgency neatly counterbalancing the deadpan Southern dialogue.
Eric Shonkwiler’s style is redolent of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, not just in its setting and premise but most strikingly in its use of isolated imagery and plausibly dispassionate narration.”