Major props to Mike O’Driscoll at Ginger Nuts of Horror for his immersive and insightful review of The Skeleton Melodies. “At his best, his stories show us ordinary people trying and, more often than not, failing, to make sense of a fucked-up world,” writes O’Driscoll. “No matter how grotesque or unreal the situations in which they find themselves, nor how egregious their mistakes, these are men and women we can empathise with.”
A narrow window of opportunity presents itself in the weeks ahead, as Stories On Stage is set to feature Adam Golaski’s Color Plates in a virtual, live-streaming performance at 7 p.m. (MT) Friday April 9, 2021. Several stories from Color Plates (2010) have been adapted for this live performance interpreted by actors Randy Moore, Anne Penner, and Geoffrey Kent. (The program is sponsored by Isabelle Clark.)
Golaski’s Color Plates is an exercise in ekphrasis: a literary commentary on a work of art. Sixty-three short tales, or “plates,” compose Golaski’s volume, with the book housing stories inspired by Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, along with a “sort-of” curator in Mary Cassatt. During the live play, the paintings on which the stories are based will be paired with the performance.
“Stories on Stage selected several of the ‘Sister/Brother’ stories,” Golaski recently shared with me, and “throughout the book Sister & Brother appear, at different ages in different situations. My favorite is the Tolouse-Lautrec inspired story where cousins of Sister & Brother perform an indoor mini-circus…[b]ut Stories on Stage also chose stories outside that cycle,” including Degas’ “Young Spartans Exercising,” examining, writes Golaski, “a high school boy’s desperate crush.”
Adam Golaski wrote the introduction (“The Profane Articulation of Truth”) to my short story collection, The Skeleton Melodies (Hippocampus Press). And while I deem him a friend, he is above all a literary ally and creative colleague. If you consider yourself saturated in the disciplines of reading-writing reciprocity, you’d benefit from acquainting yourself with Golaski’s uncommon craft.