The Amalgamation Polka
by Stephen Wright, a review from Esquire by Tom Chiarella.
"No one writes a better sentence than Wright. The underappreciated author of Meditations in Green can make a feces-filled and bloody 19th-century childbirth look like a dark, torchlit circus, a kind of performance art that defines the risk that women undertook in reproducing at all, without making it feel like a taciturn social comment. His America, drawn without the now-standard cameo appearances of historical icons, is peopled by characters who are as blown up and weird as canvas balloons. It is a bizarre place where the extraction of a tooth is a public spectacle, the contents of a slop bucket listed like a sonnet." Read the entire Esquire review.