Down in the Ground
By Bruce Meyer
Dying is not merely the domain of the dead; it is a shared experience. What remains after someone has passed are the memories, that reflections of the past and those who have passed, and the challenges everyone faces in the wake of loss. Down in the Ground is a collection of ... Read more
Dying is not merely the domain of the dead; it is a shared experience. What remains after someone has passed are the memories, that reflections of the past and those who have passed, and the challenges everyone faces in the wake of loss. Down in the Ground is a collection of short, flash fiction stories that examine the ways in which individuals deal with grief and loss, not as morbid reactions but as attempts to understand what they are experiencing. From the cradle to the grave, Down in the Ground is a study in the complex creativity we use to address grief and to challenge death so that life can triumph.
Bruce Meyer is the author of more than forty-five books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and textbooks. His broadcasts such as The Great Books and Great Poetry: Poetry is Life and Vice-Versa with Michael Enright are the CBC's bestselling spoken-word audio cds. His most recent books include the anthology, We Wasn't Pals: Canadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War (co-edited with Barry Callaghan with an afterword by Margaret Atwood), the poetry books The Obsession Book of Timbuktu, Testing the Elements, and The Seasons, and the short story collection A Chronicle of Magpies. He is professor of English at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, and visiting professor of literature at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. He was the inaugural poet laureate of the City of Barrie from 2010 to 2014. He lives in Barrie with his wife and daughter.
Deft, elegant, and lush. Meyer reveals the inescapable trajectories and truths of ordinary human lives in this sumptuous collection of short fictions. Masterful writing!
— Karen Schauber, Editor The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings
Meyer allows humour, sometimes bald, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes surreal, to undercut the solemn catalogue of deaths distributed throughout. My favourite is perhaps, “Bobby shoved Phil into the microwave. They’d been best buddies since they were young. ” That image kept me amused for days. This collection, with all its tumbling dice of fates embraced, rejected, romanticized and denied will charm you for a good deal longer than that.
In the collection of short flash fiction, Down in the Ground, author Bruce Meyer brings both wit and philosophical curiosity to his musings on death. These stories are brief and sometimes startling. In other hands, the subject might be given a maudlin treatment but here, the tone is surprisingly restrained, and at times, ironic.
Tender, funny, philosophical and smart, Meyer’s work is dazzling. His stories achieve what other writers can only do in novels. Each flash is so full of love, loss and healing it captures a life. Writing this good feels like a sort of alchemy. Superb.
— Angela Readman, author of Don’t Try This at Home and Something Like Breathing