TINY FISH THAT ONLY WANT TO KISS by Gary Indiana

TINY FISH THAT ONLY WANT TO KISS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A short story collection that’ll get you thinking about New York grit, sex, and punk.

In these 14 new and selected stories and one novella, an expansive cast of characters navigates through aging and sexuality. Indiana’s (Last Seen Entering the Biltmore, 2010, etc.) work plunges its reader right into the middle of the action. For example, in “Romanian Conversation,” two American men discuss vices and promiscuity, but the conversation occurs without any context. Readers have no idea who these characters are, nor are they ever really told what the background is. This is the common denominator throughout the work. Indiana moves through language like he moves through his topics, though he stays sharp and pithy. A sentence, however stripped of context it may be, encapsulates a certain comforting wholeness: “The air conditioning would freeze whatever idee fixe was keeping me awake into a solid cube of thought.” Indiana uses these self-reflexive moments to play with genre as well. In “One Size Fits All,” Indiana opens with “This is fiction,” and continues a few pages later with, “Now for another fiction.” Constantly, the author is cheekily aware that he is writing, and this is precisely what keeps the reader hooked: “Whatever it is you are thinking, that’s not what’s going on. Listen: to be alive...to finish this page: if it had all been to forget you, you’d have been forgotten long ago.” But the book climaxes in its novella, Rent Boy, in which Indiana sheds an illuminating light on male escorts and the intricacies of the relationships they build with their clients.

A punchy array of ruminations that perfectly mirrors its title.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2016
Page count: 294pp
Publisher: Itna Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016




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