The world on which Marianne Wiggins’s stories opens is a strange one, and not only because in one of them an anglophone angel issues a death threat to a non-English-speaking Spanish bird-fancier over a defunct telephone. Wiggins seldom has recourse to such blatant disruption of the laws governing physical reality; she seldom needs to. As she describes it physical reality, and especially human reality, is lush, awesome and unnerving enough without angelic complication.
The stories in this collection are dazzlingly varied, but running through them is a consistent sense of the overwhelming profligacy of lived experience, the tremendous (in some cases exhilarating) difficulty of sorting and taking in the mass of undifferentiated good and bad the world flings at us. In one tale