Review: Allegheny Front by Matthew Neill Null
I have not been able to get this startling collection of short stories from Matthew Neill Null, published by the new-to-me Sarabande Press, out of my head since reading it two weeks ago. Allegheny Front is dedicated For the animals and many of the stories “pivot on fraught interactions between humans and animals” and the wilderness of rural West Virginia, where the author is from. Electric Literature posted this amazing interview with Matthew Neill Null that really enhanced my reading of the collection. You can find it here. In the interview, the author discusses how he starts his story with a specific image and you can really see these haunting images as you read each story.
“My stories are image-driven. I begin with visions that come floating up from my subconscious. In the case of ‘Something You Can’t Live Without,’ the cave=bear’s skull imbedded in the rock, the man rubbing blood off his neck with a neck-tie, the shrieking cloud of passenger pigeons, and the twin boys holding dead foxes, one red, one gray. In ‘Mates,’ for instance, I saw the eagle nailed to the barn siding like an emblem . . .”