Laura Kasischke's dark vision has been recognized before, but there is something different and new in The Life before Her Eyes. One critic recently said something to the effect that Laura Kasischke is one of the premier "image makers" of our time. That critic was referring to her poetry, but there are moments of prose in this novel that will live on in any reader's imagination: empty chairs rocking on a porch, a little girl at a zoo, the beauty of young bodies almost every page has something that will not fade. What's new for Kasischke, I think, is that she seems to relish these fragile images, in a way that almost makes us forget the darkness from which they arise.
Laura Kasischke reads from her new novel at Shaman Drum Bookshop on Thursday, February 7, and at Nicola's Books on Tuesday, February 19.
[Originally published in February, 2002.]