In many ways the experience of the dreamers, their inscrutable relationship with the dream-text, is akin to the experience of the reader of this collection. Stories often take on the texture of dreamscapes: enigmatic, elusive, difficult to decode.
The Caribbean Review of Books
Glave's second collection is a disquieting, graphic, semiexperimental compendium examining violence and ignorance in and out of wartime. After opening with a contemporary relationship drama, Glave makes the jarring transition to armed conflicts, invasion and genocide. What most unifies these works is what's left unsaid-secrets are a constant, and there are virtually no names. Glave's style, full of interruptions, ellipses, unconventional text treatments and poemlike breaks, sends each story whirling thickly toward its end: in the title story, a woman called "She" is haunted by grotesque nightmares of dismembered body parts raining on her house and garden, after discovering her high-ranking husband's wartime atrocities. In the allegorical "Milk/Sea; Sentience," the dreams of a sleeping village of women heal war's wounds. "Between" takes a step back to focus on a couple, telling the story of two racist gay men in an interracial relationship; cleverly, Glave refers to both as "one of them." Laced with grisly details, this daring but uneven collection may not find a wide audience, but makes an intriguing experiment in post-postmodern war fiction. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Thomas Glave, who has been compared to fellow O. Henry Award winner Richard Wright, returns with his second collection of short fiction, THE TORTURER'S WIFE. In passionate, disquieting prose, Glave bears eloquent witness to human traumas both large and small.
In May, Glave stood up at a Caribbean literary festival and bravely criticized antigay remarks made by the Jamaican prime minister. Now he delivers a story collection focusing on the redemption of desire amid violence and homophobia.
The Kenyon Review
In "The Torturer's Wife," Thomas Glave has reproduced Lady Macbeth's descent into murder and madness. Set in a modern paradise controlled by terror, people disappear during midnight flights over the ocean, while a charismatic military leader parades his stunningly lovely wife through mansions and banquets. This is a story that, once read, will replay itself in your nightmares forever.
The Gay & Lesbian Review
Thomas Glave has emerged as a unique author within GLBT letters, and his latest collection of short stories, The Torturer's Wife, stands to solidify his reputation. Indeed, while many of the books marketed to a gay readership rely on facile themes, Glave bravely defies the usual commercial interests by dealing with difficult subjects clothed in experimental prose.
Short story collections are as good as their authors, as is the case with these three books. Lambda Award-winning author Thomas Glave followed his first collection (Whose Song? and Other Stories) with an even better set in The Torturer's Wife, a group of violent and disturbing but nonetheless compelling tales.
The Seattle Gay News
Few of the nine short stories in Glave's second collection are explicitly Queer. But his themes are universal: the trauma of haunting memories, the puzzle of erotic longing, the intersection of intimacy and desire, the gnawing disease of unacknowledged racism, the parallel horrors of war and anti-Gay violence. . . Glave's daringly experimental but eloquent prose style, often elliptical and interspersed with lines of poetry, is a challenge. But a deep, attentive reading will yield exciting literary rewards.