In this multi-faceted work from author Vincent Di Blasi, nine stories are brought together in a thought-provoking collection that explores sentiments of love and loss, family bonds, hope, and memory.
Here, stories range from the simple “Next,” showcasing a solitary woman in a glass cube who faces confinement and a downwards tumble, to the more complex “A String of Bad Hands,” where a writer risks everything in a poker game with the devil. While each tale is unique unto itself, the majority engage a first-person narrative driven by searching and questioning characters. Shared themes address desires and fears, certainties and the unknown, and cross earthly and spiritual realms.
Although this is a work of fiction, it seems plausible that certain story elements are rooted in actuality. With the book’s dedication to Di Blasi’s grandmothers, “The Red Woman From Campania” seems an intimate familial take on Italian ancestry and the significant impact an elderly woman has on her grandson.
The title story “To Whom It May Concern” is the longest entry and embodies a fortuitous reveal of an isolated community sinking into the ocean. Di Blasi pointedly creates an island scenario as a microcosm of the globe. Written as a message in a bottle to the outside world, even amidst all the expected concerns of such a predicament, hope prevails.
From the deceased classmate in a leopard skin jacket who vowed to deliver “something” from the afterlife, to an enigmatic panhandling amputee who searches for her past in a golden age mirror, these selections are detailed with colorful characters and intriguing situations. Such elements are complimented by Di Blasi’s fluid, lyrical writing style, a combination that proves an alluring draw into the heart of these narratives.
While the opening and closing stories may lack a bit of the anticipatory punch of the central work, readers will find Di Blasi’s literary voice memorable.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.