All in spin
The novel switches points of view between Callie, Joshua, and Brenna, teenagers in small-town Illinois, and a collective first person "we," the voice of townspeople who died during a tornado in 1961. The novel begins with another tornado in the present timeline. All three teenagers arrive separately to investigate the damage, each drawn by emptiness in his/her own life: Callie's dying mother, Brenna's lost love, and Joshua's invisibility as a gay teen in a rural town. The day after the tornado, a new person enters each of the teen's lives. The newcomers are ghosts from the 1961 tornado and their lives and losses mirror the teens'. The newcomers guide the teens through their traumas, and, in turn, the teens heal the ghosts' wounds and help them to their beyond. The novel reflects my interest in perspective and myth, especially in how the perception (and retelling) of events, history, and memory can reflect an individual's needs and desires. It also engages with midwestern folklore, addressing how it is perpetuated as small town populations dwindle and how it haunts even if isn't believed. All in Spin asks what our history offers us, what it means to have the lore of a place in our marrow, and how we can attend to those bones.^
Brian Leung, Purdue University.
Creative writing|American literature
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