By Jim Oaten
Dodging down back-alleys in bomb-torn Beirut. Wheeling earlier God and site visitors in Mombassa, Kenya. Slipping round the edges of Alzheime's sickness, the Gulf conflict, and the eternity of CNN.
Set someplace among the following and the heat-death of the universe, Jim Oaten's debut assortment serves up random samples of literal and literary fact scooped up at most sensible velocity. no matter if peeking out from the backseat of mother and Dad's motor vehicle or surveying the dirty wings of psychological wards, Accelerated Paces hurdles that uneasy terrain among inventive truth and sincere fiction. those brief tales and items forget about borders as they jaunt thorough exterior journeys and inner voyages.
This is either artistic non-fiction and artistic fiction, which follows the assumption of crossing obstacles and blurring borders. This assortment is an specific demonstration of the way the 2 genres interaction, of ways a non-fiction occasion can encourage a fictional piece, and, apparently adequate, the opposite as well.
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Extra info for Accelerated Paces. Travels Across Borders and Other Imaginary Boundaries
I inquire. ” wonders my brother, lips crammed with car. My father hisses in answer to all as we speed through the flatlands of Alberta. We settle back, satisfied Dad has responded. I stare out the window, wondering why on earth anyone would need so much wheat. “It seems almost a shame to eat them. They look so peaceful,” says my Mom. It’s growing dark as Sinatra signs off “… in my heart you will remain. My stardust melody. ” My father snaps on the headlights. “Sheena, give me a cigarette. ” “I don’t have any.
But now I knew why the hand went over the hole—it was to keep the horror in. ” This was my favourite part of our small morning mantra, and I would yell it out with the pop-eyed enthusiasm of an Amway Double Diamond preaching to the as-yetunconverted, garnering undisguised amusement from rest of the group and eye-narrowed irritation from the staff. Both reactions were, of course, okay. In actuality I liked the entire mantra: I liked the regularity and rhythm of the chanted mumble of symptoms and self-affirmations sliding off twenty coffee-thickened tongues—it was soothing and helped cut the caffeine.
It’s graduation day and Doug the Depressed Cartoonist has drawn me a certificate of sanity, complete with the date, time, and a fake Seal of Approval from C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States. “Billy is sane,” reads the balloon coming out of C. Everett’s mouth. The certificate has an excellent likeness of me bursting out of a straitjacket with everyone else on the staff and the group standing around applauding. Doug’s even included himself, something that is truly surprising since he’s confessed to a loathing of self-portraiture: a tiny man hanging from a tree well in the background.