“Monument” by Amelia Gray

Have you ever found a book by complete mistake that’s so perfectly tailored to your tastes and style that you can’t believe it? Is it a cosmic alignment? A chance bolt of lightning in an open field? An inevitable meeting destined by the gods? Or maybe just a stroke of luck on par with finding ten dollars?

Gutshot_Blog-Post_688-x-371pxWhatever the case, I happened upon Amelia Gray’s collection Gutshot in a bookstore in Santa Fe a few months back and have taken it slow, savoring every sentence. The stories are anywhere from 2 to 8 pages in length, but the depth and symbolism at play in each makes a whole narrative out of every line. Gray has written at least 3 other collections and is currently at work on a novel at her home in Los Angeles.

Author Gary Lutz put it best when he wrote of this particular collection, “Call them what you must–stories, fables, parables, nanonovels of melancholized hilarity–but Amelia Gray’s super-concentrated, hyper-velocitous prose marvelments do what so few fictions even attempt: leave you gasping from one unsettling sentence to the next.”

Today we are talking about “Monument”:

  1.  How would you classify this story? Nanofiction? Flash? Vignette? Or something else entirely?
  2. The message of this story is both clear and complex at the same time. What do you take away from it? Is it a catharsis or a collapse or both?
  3. What does Gray do with character creation in this story? (Or with her lack thereof.)
  4. How does the absence of dialogue impact the story as a whole?

If you get a chance, I’d highly recommend grabbing a copy of this collection from your library or online. I promise you won’t be bored.


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