MINI REVIEW: There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights by Laura van den Berg (Reviewed by Patrick Trotti)

There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights

by Laura van den Berg

A favorite small press of mine, Origami Zoo Press, has come out with another delightful, slim title. The collection of stories by Laura van den Berg is thoughtful, moving, and, at times, funny. There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights is van den Berg’s second title. Her first was a critically acclaimed collection of stories published by Dzanc Books a few years back. To say I’ve been anxiously anticipating her sophomore collection would be an understatement. In short, the author’s second title was well worth the wait.

The collection, comprising nine stories that originally appeared in various prestigious literary magazines, takes the reader on a journey that, in only 36 short pages, feels like a heftier, thicker volume for its emotional depth and beautiful imagery. Unveiling the curtain behind her character’s often quirky lives, van den Berg poses many questions and, in some cases offers solutions. But it’s not in the destination that represent the true grace of this collection, it’s the journey.

Mining the depths of familial strife to outlandishly comic stories of an outer space obsessed daughter, van den Berg shows off her range for storytelling and delivers a solid, balanced collection of intimate portraits. These tales are short, quick hitting and by the end, even though you’ve just run a sprint, you’ll feel as though you completed a marathon. There is much here to comb through, easily enough poetic prose to warrant a few re-reads.

For any fans of her debut collection, this book is a must read and for those that haven’t had the pleasure, well this is a perfect starting place for one of today’s truly talented contemporary visionaries.

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