Diagram Review of Steven Dunn’s “Potted Meat” (TS 2016)

 

Our thanks to the brilliant Dana Green, who reviews Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat (TS 2016) at the always-excellent Diagram. Green writes:

While the cover art is captivating and disturbing, Steven’s novel is even more so. The blend between detail, sincerity, and raw honesty finds its home in a fragmented, short form that only tells what it needs to, and continually leaves me without breath. For example, in “Shake to Erase,” Steven breaks up three vivid depictions of routine abuse with detailed accounts about attempting to create a face on an Etch-A-Sketch: “I did something bad, at school or at home, maybe school, probably home… Stepdad hits me again, extension cord, or switch. Oh, you aint cryin. You think you a man, I’ll beat you like one… I pull up my white long johns. Stripes soak through. Red zebra” (Dunn 15). Here, the long paragraphs that break up the abuse attempt to erase the trauma, distract from it, but only highlights the daily horror. Content and form marry each other nicely with Steven’s subtle truth, and matter-of-fact trauma; Narrative is fragmented because trauma is fragmented.

Read the entire review at Diagram.