My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amy Neftzger may have invented a new genre, “van-tasy.” Her collection of stories is tied together by the narrator, a van who/that is omniscient. His or her or its confession is the last story in the collection and cleverly ties together all the characters in the other stories. The author’s style is spare, as you would expect a van to think and talk. I’m reminded a bit of Raymond Carver’s deceptively simple language crossed with Kurt Vonnegut’s use of allegory and satire. In my writing workshops I have students do an exercise where they inhabit the point of view of a person, place, or thing beyond themselves. The point is to “break the mirror,” I say, by looking back a one’s self thru other eyes. Confessions From a Moving Van, a veritable fish eye on humanity, breaks the mirror and is a great example for them to read.