Toby Lichtig

Small Town Tales

Pieces for the Left Hand


Granta 213pp £10 order from our bookshop

J Robert Lennon’s Pieces for the Left Hand comprises one hundred literary titbits, mostly no longer than a page – a smorgasbord of condensed observations about middle America in the form of finely honed parables. Lennon’s voice is wry, and the style always plain, though the tales range from the prosaic to the paranormal. His medium is absurdity, and perhaps his foremost target is human affectation – starting with his own. In the introduction, we are told how he regards his writerly solitude: ‘with a kind of moral superiority’. This he ‘swiftly quashes, but not without a moment of amusement at his own vanity’. ‘The author’, we are told, ‘is often amused by his faults.’

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