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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Glaciers (A Tin House New Voice)

Glaciers - Alexis M. Smith

Delightful. Charming. Delicate. These are the words that first come to mind as I reflect on Glaciers. There's not much substance in these 174 pages, but I was nonetheless happy to have spent the time with them. In many of the novel's short chapters, Alexis M. Smith discusses the small things, the photos and relics Isabelle cherishes; with superb skill, Smith has crafted each chapter with the same vivid detail and want for nostalgia that these photos conjure.

There are some really wonderful sentences in this short work. And the characters, though we barely get to know them, are fresh and interesting. The story is enough to keep moving forward, though it is sparse. But I don't think the focus here should be on story. It's about images. Glaciers is a box of photographs. Sift through them. Pick out your favorites. And make up your own story to fill in what little you know.