and his sister, despite the fact that the ice has practically made it impossible. He starts with logical eorts, first calling animal control, pest removal companies, and Fran, his mother's friend, but after several attempts at trying to get the horse into a pre-dug grave (another tip of the hat to inevitability) the horse ends up only floating above the grave, like a ``sublime visual joke.'' Bill tries what seems to be the logical thing of forcing the horse in, but, as Fran says, ``Horses can't be forced into anything.'' As Bill grows frustrated with the logical, he becomes increasingly frantic in his search for control over this situation, and the story ends with him performing an absurd and desperate ritual. That lack of control--and the dread that goes with it--is what defines McFawn's characters, from Bill and the dead horse, to a babysitter who tries to coax a child into taking control of her life, to a professor accused of killing one of his students. McFawn's collection is a kaleidoscope of chaos, often just as philosophical as it is darkly funny; I can't think of a more appropriate winner for the Flannery O'Connor Award. J. J. Abrams
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 22, 2015
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