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literary novel

Review: Captivated by the Harrowing and Heartfelt ‘Shelter in Place’

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Have you ever felt like a giant black bird is clawing at your heart, or like your body is completely immobilized by black tar flowing through your veins? It may be hard to imagine what that really feels like, but for the protagonist of Alexander Maksik’s latest novel, Shelter in Place (Europa Editions, September 13, 2016) it’s a state of being that’s nearly inescapable. Those two images are the main descriptors Maksik uses to characterize his narrator Joe’s Bipolar symptoms, that are further complicated by the hectic story of Joe’s life, which Maksik traces from the early ’90s to the present day in a nonlinear design. Set in a few different cities in the Pacific Northwest, the meat of the story…

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