If you want a chronicler of modern life, a life in perpetual motion, look no further than Chris Power. Every short story in Mothers, his first collection, is technically accomplished, swarming with fleshy characters and deep, intersecting plotlines. What attracts me to Power’s writing is his ability to capture, in the very pulse of his prose, the unsteady nature of experience itself. His characters are suspended in a state in which neither the past is distant, nor the future ceasing to loom. Place, or a sense thereof, is not a stable referent in his stories, but a fleeting junction. I wouldn’t give much away, but I have chosen ‘The Colossus of Rhodes’ over other brilliant texts in the collection because it demonstrates the kind of literary intimacy one can achieve by looking deep into the self and tapping into its fears.
First published in Mothers, Faber, 2018