Nothing Right review

nothing-rightNothing Right by Antonya Nelson is another hardcover short story collection by an author whose work is familiar, yet it was a reading experience altogether different from In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.  The order of the stories is as significant as the content.  In Nothing Right the title story is also the lead story, and the two previously published stories I had read fell nearly at the end of the collection.  I found reading the stories in this order to be more settled, although the stories themselves jarred nerves that are generally not exposed.  These stories introduce one damaged couple after another; affairs abound in Nelson’s work, but not all of the couples are intimately involved.  It is precisely the lack of intimate involvement that is more telling in these stories about lacking, longing, and loving.  The characters’ thwarted attempts at love, be it romantic, platonic, or parental, all demonstrate the basic human desire to connect.  As the cover art suggests, it is human nature to reach out to the barbs that become inextricably lodged in our flesh.


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