'People I wanted to be'
The Guardian reviews the short story collection 'People I wanted to be" by Gina Ocshner:
The dead return as haunting incarnations of grief and desire, or simply drop by to be remembered. In "Articles of Faith" a couple learning to live with infertility are beset by the ghosts of the children they never had, while in "How One Carries Another", a father and son in perpetual mourning for their son or brother missing in action in Vietnam have their hopes tantalised by audio tapes that mysteriously appear whenever they leave the house. While some await the dead, others tend to them, as morticians or forensic pathologists. In "When the Dark is Light Enough" an elderly woman murdered by her nephew hovers over her own autopsy, as the pathologist ponders the "unwieldy melancholy that sprang from examining so many lives through the sum of their parts and seeing the same human plots played out again and again". Everywhere there are reckonings in the presence of death. In "A Darkness Held" a woman who lost her teaching licence for drinking makes her peace with Sister Clement, a sadistic nun now on her deathbed, who taught her as a child and drove her brother to suicide. People discard their grief to walk away lighter. In "The Hurler" a woman advertising a contraption to "cast your cares into a nearby lot" takes decluttering to its logical extreme: "I watched my heart sail and heard it land with a soft plop on the pulsing mound of other discarded hearts."I might have to order this for the wife. If people think I'm dark, they should meet her. She's darker than I am.