Black Heron Press, 9780930773533, 92pp.
Publication Date: January 15, 1999
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Prisoners is a collection of short narratives told in different voices, about what holds us captive: war, violence, trauma, history, belief, the fear of death. The narratives are thematically linked. The dominant themes of this compact but insightful book are violence and its effects: the ways in which these effects persist, their replication from generation to generation. Much of this book is told through the voices of gang youth, other parts by veterans of a number of wars. Stylistically indebted to such poets as Louis Simpson, Larry Levis, and Ai, in Prisoners Mr. Gold nevertheless establishes his own territory in terms of both content and tone. The dominant theme - violence - becomes a virus, conveyed down through the generations, or between friends, siblings, or lovers... A whiff of dark humor dances around the macabre and disquieting 'How It Can Happen.' a list of ways people have been known to die... Another acridly funny [piece] is 'Who's Going to Kill Me'... On the whole, Prisoners is intense, evocative, insightful... It is not for sissies-Tacoma News Tribune
About the Author
Jerome Gold is the author of thirteen books, including the fiction collection, The Moral Life of Soldiers, and Paranoia & Heartbreak, a memoir of the years he spent as a rehabilitation counselor in a prison for children. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Praise For Prisoners…
“Jerome Gold looks into the darkest corners of contemporary life, telling us without mercy exactly what he finds. The . . . author of The Inquisitor, Publishing Lives and The Negligence of Death, Gold creates intense, socially conscious, and emotionally evocative stories that remind us that we choose to deny unpleasant realities at the cost of enabling them to continue.” — Judith Roche, The Stranger
“The dominant theme – violence – becomes a virus, conveyed down through the generations or between friends, siblings and lovers . . . . A whiff of dark humor dances around the macabre and disquieting ‘How It Can Happen,’ a list of the ways people have been known to die . . . . Another acridly funny poem is ‘Who’s Going to Kill Me’ . . . Gold lampoons some entirely deserving subjects. On the whole, Prisoners is intense, evocative, insightful . . . . It is not for sissies." — Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Tacoma News Tribune