These wonderfully wistful hint fictions found in DS Levy’s A Binary Heart worry all the binary codes (on and off and off and on), rewiring our everythings (mind and body and heart and head and life and death). These gems are pixilated packed postcards, analog tweets, with stunning still lives on the obverse and stellar sterling prose on the reverse—the side that says “Message Here.” Here, there are messages indeed and deeded—tattooed calligraphy, tender cantatas, touching curation. Be still, my succinct and syncopated heart!
—Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Winesburg, Indiana
Wry, witty, and wise, the stories in DS Levy’s astonishing new collection A Binary Heart are deeply human glimpses into places where people “never seemed to be in the same room at the same time” but who reflect the essential quality of survival: the ability to “feed ourselves with what we have.” These stories have the metaphorical punch and focused, economical language of good poetry, but they also show us the power of narrative in the smallest moment of the lived life. Levy bridges the gap between poetry and prose with grace, authority, and artistry, inviting us to consider “what comes next—after the question.” A Binary Heart is a must-have for any library of important contemporary literature. Buy this book and read it and read it and read it.
—Laura Orem, author of Resurrection Biology and Castrata: A Conversation
“I was thinking it might be nice if you reloved me” is the opening sentence of one of Levy’s stories and is typical of her ability to draw a reader in more as a confidant than as a mere observer. Her creativity of characters and situations ranges from the chilling (“Milk,” “Museum Pieces”) to the simple mother/daughter relationships which, like in many of her stories, the situations appear to be simple but the author’s ability to tell the story is creative and deep. And along with these abilities Levy somehow brings inanimate objects (telephones, buttons, especially telephones) into her stories and they feel as if they’ve taken on the roll of characters. This is a stellar collection of fine stories written by someone you feel is pitching you a plain fastball but in essence has mastered the art of the knuckleball, which like a batter will leave you shaking your head in awe as story after story is pitched to you.
—Paul Beckman, author of Peek and Come! Meet My Family and Other Stories