Monkeys, Fools

Leventhal’s endings routinely devastate. In her last lines plot construction and humour step out of the way to give us some unfussy, unalloyed truth, like a shot on the chin, or a boot to the heart. They are jarring and starkly beautiful. They favour truth and poignancy over the temptation to tie up all loose ends. They leave characters holding the bag, or on the precipice of a life choice, or offhandedly, involuntarily revealing some dire truth about themselves.

On Anna Leventhal’s story collection Sweet Affliction, for All Lit Up