Shattered Fossils, a collection of short stories, takes its title from themes of the irretrievable past, particularly within Ark of Gopherwood, in which the narrator describes his friend as someone who has pieced together elements of the historical past, to create a more complete picture of history. From the short story in which a character enters a "painted sidewalk," the collection moves into an exploration of the creation of memoir and memory. Some of the stories, but especially one about a 'bard,' set in Montreal, another set in Iceland and one set off the coast of England, contain ghosts. The last is told from a ghost's perspective. Her husband, a mathematician, has called her from the shadows. While she was alive, he insisted time was immutable. Now he is attempting to solve the equation that will bring her back.
These are captivating, erudite stories written in beautifully textured imagistic prose. The characters are complex and well-delineated; the settings are unforgettable and inseparable from the characters' drama.
— H. Nigel Thomas, Author of Fate's Instruments
“When the world’s pouring in,” a character asks in Sharon Lax’s Shattered Fossils, “what would you do?” It’s a question that echoes through these intense stories – stories haunted by the past, haunted too by the pain of other living creatures. The troubled relationships at the heart of Lax’s work compel a glittering awareness of how we strive to make something beautiful from the strangeness of our lives.
— Mark Abley, author or The Organist
The narratives in Shattered Fossils pay rapt attention to what mind and matter can do, their chain reactions across time and space. Each carefully crafted story investigates reality, without ignoring sources of political friction or questions of gender politics, with language that deploys generous helpings of musical effects.
— Jane Affleck, PhD
In Shattered Fossils, Sharon Lax has created a complex bricolage of music, visual art, poetry, and scientific knowledge to show readers that, even in our moments of grief, insecurity, secrecy, and pain, we are always connected to beauty, and to one another, through complex webs of cultural meaning. Her stories, erudite and ecstatic and sometimes ekphrastic, carry readers across dreamscapes to sites of mourning, scenes of crime, and wellsprings of shifting memories; each should be savored for the intellectual flourishes and bursts of poetry from an author whose creative powers are on full display.
— Alice Hatcher, author of The Wonder That Was Ours
Lax’s stories further the journey of questioning pre-pandemic “normalcy. ” They may also suggest means to creating a future world that resists or dispenses with that so-called normalcy and its attendant oppressive ideologies, including colonialism, capitalism, heteronormativity and the binaries of sex and gender, and anthropocentrism.
— Jane Affleck, PhD