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very once in a rare while, a novel emerges from a small press that promises to part the literary tides and challenge the way we think about fiction. Mary Tabor’s Who By Fire, published by Outer Banks, simply defies genre. It is a story about love that cannot be reduced to a love story, a tragic account of desire and grief that never descends into tragedy. The novel recounts the tale of a man who struggles, in the wake of his wife’s death, to comprehend her infidelity. In his search for absolution, he reconstructs her life by imagining her affair as it might have transpired, exploring layer upon layer of memory—his, hers, those of her lover and of her lover’s wife. Tabor guides us through this dream-within-a-dream-like introspection by maneuvering the narrative lens with absolute acuity, seamlessly navigating tiers of temporal realities throughout the book. What results is an unimaginably rich portrait of human relationships: a story about the complexities of longing—for one’s own desires, for the happiness of one’s partner, for things that cannot possibly coexist without resulting in mutual destruction; a story about the feeling of missing a person while sitting in her presence; a story about the tenacity of the human spirit in the presence of suffering; a story about forgiveness. Tabor proves herself fluent in the subtle language of human behavior, where needs and resentment nest side-by-side in an unspeakable space. It is her fearlessness that holds all of it together, that renders Who By Fire a sincere and deeply moving literary feat. Excerpt and interview inside. ∆∆∆

Profile for All the Thunder Magazine

ALL THE THUNDER MAGAZINE///Issue No. II  

for the myth and the mind

ALL THE THUNDER MAGAZINE///Issue No. II  

for the myth and the mind

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