A Novel from the Hospice.
Joe M. O’Connell. Foreword by Joe Holley. Austin: Dalton Publishing, 2007. http://www.daltonpublishing.com/ 192 Pages, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9740703-8-4 $13.95
Joe O’Connell’s short works have The G.W. Review, Other Voice, Confrontation, Lullwater Review and many other journals. He’s taken first prize at both the Deep South Writers Conference and in the Louzelle Rose Barclay Awards. Now he teaches at St. Edward’s University and Austin Community College. In the Evacuation Plan, Matt, a fledgling screenwriter, finds himself as a volunteer working with the terminally ill in search of his next movie. Everyone there is, of course, evacuating, and Matt finds the intimacy and serendipity in such cases. The volume proceeds in an episodic fashion or the “novel-in-stories style.” As you go with him from bed, to wheel chair, to hallway the personal stories unfold. The broken, the hopeful, the frustrated, the clueless, and the forgiving touch one another with words, remembrances, and hands.
Inevitably, readers will quietly wonder about their own evacuation plan. Will yours include a Hawaiian shirt or Girl Scout Cookies or stories of drunken gambling?