In A Fixed, Formal Arrangement, author Allison Carter uses the short prose form to render the liminal space of between-ness. What exactly is “spare” time? Is a comma as servile as they say? Is a garage located inside or outside? What is the world, and why/how does it exist around you? These are the best questions of literature, and Carter’s short, serial pieces are brilliantly precise and heart-achingly poignant in their strange explorations.
“Allison Carter writes the small and indelible installments of domestic life; what fits in a pocket, a post-it, just below the radar. In lovely prose, she challenges us to imagine the bigger picture just outside the frame. The two halves of A Fixed, Formal Arrangement present the house and its environs, its occupants as though under a sudden microscope, or as if the sound had just become audible. There is something both eerie and real about this microscopic world, the way one feels the first time you realize that ants have complex lives. What? That’s us? Yes. In this great debut book.” —Thalia Field