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Fiction Review    

 

Every Man Must Build A Home
By L.A. Heberlein
Livingston Press, 2002
ISBN: 0-942979-92-3

 

 
 

L.A. Heberlein's Every Man Must Build A Home is equal parts travel, science fiction, and meta-fiction. The novel's main character, Alan Swallow, has difficulty relating to women -- his mother, his aunts, and his lovers yet he's enjoying the process of trying to find a satisfactory relationship. In an alternate universe, a man named Gray is pursuing Jelly Cornfish, and is as unsuccessful as Alan.

How men are taught to be men by women by the women they love has always been a theme in literature/culture (think D.H. Lawrence and "Jerry McGuire").  Heberlein's twist on the age-old quest for love and a home is a less conventional approach.

In the author's earlier novel, Sixteen Reasons Why I Killed Richard M. Nixon, sixteen different narrators claimed credit for an act none of them could have committed. Heberlein likes tweaking conventions -- subverting the narrative.

Heberlein is the also the author of Earthquake Babies and the Rough Guide to Internet Radio. He edits the journal Square Lake (www.squarelake.com) and distributes his personal journal to an email mailing list whose home page is: www.heberlein.net . He was born and reared on the Front Range of Colorado, where his great grandfather arrived on foot in the 1850s.  Heberlein with his wife, the painter Gillian Theobold, and his daughter, Elaine, live in Seattle.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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