Present at the Editorial Table
Kathleen Volk Miller
This week, we’re back at the table discussing a fiction piece by Frank Scozzari, titled “In the Valley of the Dry Bones.”
Frank Scozzari hobo’ed his way across America at age eighteen, twice trekked the John Muir Trail, backpacked through Europe, camel-backed the ruins of Giza, jeep-trailed the length of the Baja peninsula three times, globe-trotted from Peking to Paris to the White Nights of northern Russia, and once climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest point in Africa. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his award-winning short stories have been widely anthologized.
“In the Valley of the Dry Bones” creates a discussion that looks at the story’s uses of imagery, characterization, and overall language to engage us from the first page to the very last. Scozzari’s piece gives us Sergeant Dax Garner as the main character, the one remaining soldier on the battlefield after his platoon has been wiped out by the enemy. In reviewing “In the Valley of the Dry Bones,” we shared our ideas on social commentary in fiction, whether or not it is necessary for characters to have psychological depth, and finding the balance between “telling” and “showing” in writing. Scozzari employs altogether excellent writing that leaves us all anxious and exhausted (in the good way), but also impressed with his distraction-free storytelling.
We close out this episode talking about how fiction tends to shape our perceptions of things that we don’t know much about from short stories to TV series like House of Cards and steamy doctor dramas. Tune in to hear our takes on favorites like Big Little Lies, Google for education, and the not-so-genius production of Hamlet.
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