Matthew Kirkpatrick loves words and images and the crazy chemistry between them. Reading Light without Heat is like watching a circus act where humans fling themselves gorgeously from increasingly fantastic heights: you think uh-oh and wowee and yes yes yes.
Light Without Heat
Matthew Kirkpatrick’s debut, Light without Heat, is an inventive, surprising collection of short stories full of odd, marginal characters rendered with surreal humor and lyrical, often beautiful language.
Formally playful, these stories take the shape of biographies, instructions, glossaries, and diagrams, all ultimately in the service of depicting characters with emotional intensity.
Stories in the collection explore the flawed nature of memory, workplace malaise, the isolation of home, and the last throes of ending love. No two stories in Light without Heat are the same, yet all of them work toward sharing human experience in new, innovative ways.
Matthew Kirkpatrick’s new book is outstanding. The stories in Light without Heat are taut, formally inventive forays into the soft, fragile core of families. Kirkpatrick’s language is sharp and severe, but beneath the disciplined voice is a writer looking to reveal the most difficult feelings. An extraordinary debut by an ambitious new writer.