by Grant Maierhofer
University of Alabama Press, 2019
Paper: 978-1-57366-074-7 | eISBN: 978-1-57366-885-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3613.A349344A6 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6

A collection of related stories that deal with the anxiety, pain, and ennui of addiction and withdrawal

Drain Songs gathers five stories and a novella focused on the many trials of modern life—addiction and depression, mania and disorder, attempts and failure at keeping the worst at bay. Grant Maierhofer’s stories focus on characters in varying states of disarray and stuckness, continuing his literary project of analyzing lives on the fringes of sanity and society. The novella “Drain Songs” is a harrowing narrative focused squarely on addiction and recovery, twelve-step programs, and codependency.

In all of these tales, Maierhofer takes a bee’s-eye view of protagonists from all walks of life, from the working class to the academy, from janitors to professors, embodying the commonalities of men and women struggling with very fundamental elements of survival, perspective, and identity—attempts formal and informal to contend with the trials that forever engage and perplex humanity.

His evocative prose conveys both despair and resignation as well as stultifying, brain-deadening routine and repetition. Still, these stories transcend angst and tilt toward agony and ecstasy and the hope of redemption.

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