Stories from the Edge of Nature
2015, MPK Books
Overturning our grasp of what is civil and what is wild, Marc Peter Keane’s collection of nine short stories revels in the illusory space between culture and nature. A garden designer by trade, Keane forays into fiction with the wisdom and sure-footedness of someone all too familiar with manipulating the boundaries of the natural world.
In “A Peaceable Kingdom,” the tranquil lives of a picture-postcard American family are bewildered by discoveries of untamable nature. A girl made mute by the violence of her childhood finds solace in the orderly house and pruned gardens of her uncle’s country manor in “Gardens of the Soul.” And in the title story, “Moss,” an overworked employee in a large Tokyo corporation pines for the return of the wild to his city, while trying desperately to discern the natural from the artificial in his surroundings.
From 18th century English countryside to contemporary Tokyo, from a covered wagon crossing the American desert to a high-tech private yacht crossing the Pacific, Keane’s tales offer, in alluring prose, thoughts on how to understand our place as humans in the wild world.