Jordaan Mason. Magic Helicopter Press, $15 (226p) ISBN: 978-0-9841406-4-0
In Jordaan Mason’s strikingly lyrical debut novel The Skin Team, human bodies are vessels, sacks of blood and meat, transitional things, things that carry us as spirit or water or electricity as we move through the world and in and out of each other. The narrative is loose and fragmented, with Mason focusing largely on three characters who reside in a dreamy locale that has experienced or will experience or is recovering from the experience of a fire at The Power Company. The fire leads to a blackout and the young trio pulses, merging and separating, searching and meditating, in a darkness that fuels their lust-triangle and a fear of what comes next. Using unique language, a seemingly effortless prose/poetry fusion, Mason explores how our relationships shift, and also how we maintain them, when things around us or in us begin to change or fail or grow sick. As the characters slowly learn themselves and each other, so too does the main character learn to question not the authenticity of his experiences, but the genuineness of his recollections of those experiences: “I seemed to be the only one aware between all of us that a film or a journal entry or an old dress in a drawer is not necessarily a contained memory, that all of the light captured, all of that time spent hiding documents and secrets, though comforting, nostalgic, even familiar at times, was inevitably a form of fiction.” With careful stitch-work behind this literary coming-of-age hybrid, Mason has also given the reader a subtle study of impermanence and how our memories wane despite our best attempts to preserve them. The Skin Team is in all ways naked: beautiful and poignant and humming with electricity. (June 2013)
Purchase The Skin Team HERE.
Reviewer bio: Mel Bosworth is the author of the novel FREIGHT. Visit his website at melbosworth.com