‘The Last Heat of Summer’ by Percival Everett

Difficult to say what this story is about, other than a fathers and sons camping trip, fishing, a first kiss, a tiger, and the repetitive slaughter of loved ones who want to save you. You tell them to stay away. But they come anyway. Everett looks like he doesn’t care, that he writes like no one is reading. But he does care. He considers the reader. And he knows us better than he lets on, better by far than we realise. It’s a large part of his power. This is a strange story, but like the strangeness in all great fiction it finds the strangeness in its reader, and embraces it. It comes anyway. And it’s a very beautiful thing.

From the collection Damned If I Do, Influx Press, 2020

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