Nominating Editor: Howard Junker
ZYZZYVA is a 25-year-old triquarterly journal of West Coast writers & artists. In each issue we offer a handful of writers who are appearing in print for the first time.
I like Cory Garfin's debut story, "The Carousel," because it's sweet and unexpected and in the great tradition of George Saunders and the fabulous microcosm.
Nominated Flash Fiction: "The Carousel" - Cory Garfin
Reviewed by: Jim Ruland
Cory Garfin’s publishing debut is short and sweet – just like a ride on the carousel that is the centerpiece of this curious tale. A young man comes home to find that his parents have turned his bedroom into a carnival attraction. Baffled by their decision to install a carousel in his room so shortly after he’s left it, he returns to investigate but doesn’t get the homecoming he expects.
In just under 500 words, Garfin skillfully renders the young man’s family in vivid detail. It’s precisely the kind of high concept, absurdist drama that goes over well at readings. As an employee of Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Garfin likely has observed countless writers read from their work and he’s learned a thing or two about what works on the page as well as the stage.
In spite of its unusual premise, “The Carousel” is fairly conventional, earnest even, which makes it a bit of a throwback. While Garfin doesn’t leave the reader much to ponder once the music stops, he delivers an enjoyable ride.
Thanks for visiting Five Star Literary Stories and reading about this flash fiction.