Published by: Canongate
Novelist and filmmaker Rebecca Miller’s most recent book of short fiction came out in the fall of 2022. Total is a slender and speculative selection of seven stories. In Mrs. Covet a pregnant mother of two finds herself steadily beholden and almost helplessly controlled by her help, Nat. The mother in Vapors takes her two-year-old for a walk when she runs into an old lover. Memories of the past come rushing back, various passions are uprooted but, ultimately, none can compare to the spiritual love she has for her child. In the cinematically beautiful, The Chekhovians, we see a clash of the classes, terrible family secrets, and disjointed scenes of connection that one wants to read more of. Miller has a talent for writing moments that seem to evade time. There is an innocence to her curtailment of time; so clearly does she sometimes see into the under-layers of certain human connections. These stories may not be conventionally addictive yarns with heaps of plot pivots, they are, however, examples of a more modern approach to the short form, where one feels like almost a viewer, an onlooker to a ripple of very delicate, emotional conjoinings.