Keith Lee Morris, author of The Dart League King, returns with a new story collection as acute, funny, and heartbreaking as we've come to expect from him.
In this stunning story collection inhabited by dreams and disappointments, good intentions and small triumphs, Keith Lee Morris chronicles the lives of men lost in the liminal spaces between adolescence and adulthood. For all their flaws—as husbands, as fathers, as friends—Morris’s characters are portrayed with depth, tenderness, and humanity. Call It What You Want balances realism with the surreal, humor with sadness, and explores all the hidden places in between.
After The Dart League King, Morris returns to the short form with his refreshingly unpretentious if stylistically narrow second collection. In these 13 stories, protagonists turn the reader into a confidant and introduce plots that believably approximate the unique and fitful path of human thought. With the exception of My Roommate Kevin Is Awesome, which is written in teen jargon liberally sprinkled with like, Morris's prose is polished to transparency and proves surprisingly flexible in terms of tone. In The Visitation, an encounter with a charmingly unflappable thief grows into a darkly absurdist cautionary tale. Guests captures the aimless rhythms and restlessness of a young man working as a New Orleans parking valet. In the lengthy and affecting Testimony, teenager Robert Scott is the key prosecution witness in his friend's murder trial. Robert, until recently an addict, comes slowly to realize the larger dimensions of his actions and his testimony for the first time as he relives the crime in the courtroom and witness box. Though the stories can seem too formally similar, the pieces, individually, are marked by quiet authority and beautifully observed moments.