Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

In Heaven Everything Is Fine

In Heaven Everything Is Fine

In Heaven Everything is Fine
by Jeffrey DeShell

1991. 108 pp.
Price: $10.95


Jeffrey DeShell's In Heaven Everything is Fine is a first novel with a difference. While engaging a traditional subject - a young man's initiation into the difficulty of life amidst the hard realities of love, waste, and failure - it does so in a peculiarly contemporary way. Reflecting a style of life into which a new generation is being inducted, the story is told through fragments of narrative and collaged excerpts from media reportage. The protagonists' state of mind is expressed through the very context of contemporary history which has created it. The whole projects the effect of humor and melancholy very much like the blues. In fact, the impact of the book is heavily informed by its allusion to contemporary rock music as it inherits the blues tradition.

"This is the saddest story deconstructed. As a collage of ill-fated love triangles, this neo-Pop romance may be for its generation what Barthelme's Snow White was for the sixties. DeShell's debut is provocative, compelling, and too smart to be hip—the author is his own psychosexual and philosophical brat pack." —Robert Steiner author of Bathers and Dread

"Jeffrey DeShell's 'Exploration of Surfaces' is a virtuosic analysis of human relationships using mathematics and Scrabble, producing a story that is witty, touching, and insightful despite (or perhaps because of) its experimental typography." —Steven Moore, Dalkey Archive Press Review of Contemporary Fiction

"In Heaven Everything Is Fine plays many fields. Lists of lit-crit and rock-and-roll Top Ten hits, headlines, TV news, and ads are part of the story. DeShell's quirky, bittersweet characters wander in and out of clubs, bars, and apartments, hungering in a deadpan, I-don't-really-care way for a sort of integrity, for a kind of meaning. In Heaven Everything Is Fine is as tender as it is smart." —Lynne Tillman author of Haunted Houses and Absence Makes the Heart


Do you want me to drive for a while I ask Sure if you don't mind we pull over to the side of the road we switch places I take the wheel So you two knew each other in Colorado was she married to Odets then They weren't married but they saw a great deal of each other that's how I met Frances you know through Odets Oh yeah Yeah when I first got here I needed a place to stay until I got myself together and Odets gave me Frances' phone number We're all one big happy family I say Well not that happy Frances wasn't exactly pleased that I was friends with Kirchner's Woman she let me stay in her apartment but didn't exactly make me feel all that welcome it was only later when I had a big falling out with Kirchner's Woman that Frances and I became friends.