Julia MacDonnell reviews The Origin of Doubt, a “glorious debut collection of short fictions”

Many thanks to for such a lovely review of my collection, The Origin of Doubt:

The Origin of Doubt, Nathan Alling Long’s glorious debut collection of short fictions, is dedicated ‘to those who don’t quite fit in.’ Its fifty stories, some no more than a paragraph long, could serve as a missal for a vast congregation of outcasts and wanderers; angst-ridden adolescents, erotic explorers, and philosophical self-searchers.

These stories – most would be called flash fiction due to their brevity and obsession with ‘moments’ of experience – offer highly nuanced meditations on sexual awakening and its confusions, eternal parent/child conflicts, sibling connections and their opposite, romantic love and its impossibilities — and Long’s stunning imagery weaves them into a radiant mosaic. For The Origin of Doubt is, above all, a contemporary mosaic, a post-modern one, spangled with a pure and at times enthralling take on same sex love and its hetero counterpart, not to mention several other life and death matters.  Its protagonists, passionate and yearning, are so profoundly ‘there’ in their fictive worlds, be they Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, young seekers in a Thai monastery, or any of a score of other possibilities, that they pull the reader in close for an embrace, or, at times, a death grip.  Like all of the best fiction, Long’s stories takes readers places they never planned to go, and surprise them with the unforeseen pleasures to be had after their arrival.

Read the rest of the review at:  http://www.philadelphiastories.org/article/review-of-nathan-alling-longs-the-origin-of-doubt/

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