Leaving: 4 Short Stories
Cat. No. JB112
Adam Selzer, who led the band Norfolk & Western and also has toured and recorded with M. Ward, has written a collection of four short stories, entitled Leaving. To accompany this book he recorded readings of each story and enlisted the talents of Peter Broderick, John Askew, Raul Pastor-Medal, and Cory Gray to provide musical score to one story each. These compositions magnify the mood and tone of the stories, providing an enhanced avenue for the reader to experience the narrative. One can either choose to read, listen, or listen and read along to these compelling stories which render sparse language, surprising bursts of gallows humor, and a sense of compassion for the lost souls that inhabit his stories.
A man facing financial ruin and domestic turmoil spontaneously jumps in his car for a disaster-laden road trip to reconcile with a dying brother.
A young artist wrestling with a growing sense of failure seeks comfort and validity from a checkout girl at a grocery store.
A man unwilling to confront the origins of his own unhappiness sets out to track down an old girlfriend, yet becomes distracted by a karaoke singer in a roadside bar along the way.
A couple shattered by the death of their soldier son seeks healing in ways so divergent, their relationship may not survive the process.
The anti-heroes of Selzer's work seek escape of both their external and internal landscapes via the open roads of the West, seedy small town bars, and the arms of temporary lovers who offer fleeting salvation. And yet in each of these journeys, despite the protagonists' attempts to ignore old wounds, insecurities, familial trauma, and long histories of bad choices, they are eventually forced to confront the magnitude of their own yearnings and loneliness.
All four of Adam Selzer's tales are firmly grounded in the Pacific Northwest, from the dark and rainy streets of Portland to the Douglas Fir-lined highways and former timber towns struggling to survive. Selzer does not flinch from the ragged edges of human tragedy and desperation. Ultimately, Selzer celebrates our compulsion to seek out the remedies for our ills, even though what we find is rarely what we sought.