Struggling with loss and isolation, the characters in these ten stories turn to aspects of science and nature to help them come to terms with grief and regret. A refrigerator repairman ponders the nuances of the oldest ice in the world while struggling to accept the recent loss of his wife. A librarian finds comfort in the dinosaur ancestry of her parrot while dealing with her aging father. A former marine biologist, who has been rendered speechless by multiple sclerosis, endeavors reconciliation with her fish-hating daughter. A photo editor attempts to connect with her estranged brother via “the science of Bigfoot.”
While the stories in Darwin’s Kitchen are not interconnected, similar themes run throughout the collection, including the search for meaning, the desire to understand failed familial relationships and an exploration of the connection between mankind and nature. The collection, riddled throughout with humor, scientific facts, odd phenomenon, unlikely juxtapositions and religious theory, combines the darkest and lightest of moments. One reader said the experience of reading the stories is “like laughing during a funeral, in the good way.” A judge of the Flannery O’Connor award loved the sadness of the stories and noted “they ring true somewhere deep.”
Several of the stories have been published in literary journals, including here.
I am also currently working on a series of paintings based on the images in the title story of the collection, “Darwin’s Kitchen.”