‘Lifelines’ by Kathleen Collins

The real pleasure of reading a Kathleen Collins story is encountering the raw sheen of her filmmaker’s eye. Her sentences are as tightly wound as a montage skip, and this is despite the exclamation marks and ellipses. It’s fantastic! It makes me laugh! ‘Lifelines’ is the story of a woman who is trying to leave behind the nagging epistolary presence of her—occasional—husband. The story is almost episodic, but so lightly touched by a sadness that remains in the aftermath like a warm scent. But really, it’s the story of a birdlike hairdresser who gifts this woman a dream. I love it.

First published in Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, Ecco, 2016

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