A gay man comes out of the closet every day of his life. His mother is the first to know. She says he’ll be lonely, but he’ll never be alone. The men who take his time are taxidermist veterans and autopsy pathologists, deer hunters and bartenders, museum directors and curators of contemporary art. They haunt each other on porches and beaches and in the back of trucks. They’re the places a gay man goes to escape his mother. She’s still there, though, in the air between them. She is Mother Ghost.
In a war-torn wasteland someone wakes wounded and blind to a life they don’t remember or understand. Halfway across the world a woman builds an intricate city out of personal debris to celebrate a brief period of happiness. Just downstairs a man sits meditating before his rumbling clothes dryer contemplating harsh realities of adulthood that seem to be rushing forth to consume. These are the lives of Frank and Lili, two roommates and sometimes lovers unable to accept or cope with anything but each other.
The Map of the System of Human Knowledge is a short encyclopedia, full of entries that waver between fiction and memoir, poetry and prose, realism and irrealism.
Steal Me For Your Stories, the debut collection from New York author Robb Todd, pulls the reader in opposite directions, mixing the tender and vulnerable with the raw and sometimes raunchy, a hard and soft clip to the ears.