Karen An-hwei Lee, Andrew Colarusso — 2022
A collection of visions shared across cyberspace, Souvenirs, a collaboration between authors Andrew Colarusso and Karen An-hwei Lee, celebrates fragments from the literary afterlife. In Souvenirs, a philosophically astute, poetically searing collection of miniature fictions and contemporary fables, objects take on shapes of their own designs creating a composite map to a world populated with little transparent souls and ghost ships in lost bottles; a menagerie of curios; photophores of bioluminescence humming in the depths: light begetting light, deep calling to deep. In these twenty-seven prose gems, it seems that Colarusso and Lee are writing from a single mind as they strike a balance between humor and philosophy; the acute and the everlasting. The ideas they discuss--religion, faith, universality, continuance--are large, but their prose is accessible, and at times outright hilarious. Strange, compelling, and arcane considerations of watches, jade, seaweed, and cake, among many other items, come through with stylistic prowess and earnest, intelligent considerations. Souvenirs adds complexity to the mundane, re-centers the iconic, and gifts the reader with nothing short of astonishment; wonder baked into each delicious slice.