A novelistic battle between enduring despair and the relief found in both imagination and the thinnest of material connections: an occasional postcard.
Decades before #metoo, Cal chose his punishment for going too far with a girl he was crazy about: a life-sentence with a woman he could not love, whose frequent rages, untapped spending and ruthless children were his means to distract himself from longing and regret. The girl from his past also condemned him to periodic postcards bearing no return address. Rather than increasing his despair, the postcards helped stoke the imaginary life he maintained with her, including dialogue about his plight, images of her showing up while he plays his sax in a nightclub, and even sex, the very realm that had initiated her retreat from him.
Cris Mazza has seventeen other titles of fiction and literary nonfiction including her last book, Charlatan: New and Selected Stories, covering her 20 years of authoring short fiction. Other notable titles include Something Wrong With Her, a real-time memoir; her first novel How to Leave a Country, which won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction; and the critically acclaimed Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? She is a native of Southern California and director of the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.