January 01, 2014

Found Objects

1360673-1839367048-l.gifFound Objects

Peter Gelfan

Nortia Press, 2013


Mr. Gelfan was one of the Columbia Fiction Foundry’s first guests. He is an editor with The

Editorial Department and comes highly recommended.



This Will Get You Thinking

Amazon.com Review by Ralph White


While this is technically Peter Gelfan's debut novel, it's far from his first book since he's midwifed hundreds of them as an editor. It figures that he'd craft it with non-linear complexity. Here's an example. You've gotten your mind around a multiracial married couple living in rural New Hampshire taking in an abandoned woman with two nice kids and forming a wholesome nuclear family. Now one of the children's teachers asks her students to draw something from their home lives. Three parents sharing a bed isn't what the teacher had in mind, so she displays another of the kid's non home-themed drawings. After all, parent conference day is coming up and the other parents might disapprove. What would you have done?

Gelfan is at his best when exploring the logical fringes of moral equivalency, as in when, with extreme reluctance, the protagonist agrees to share his wife with the surprise visitor formerly the spouse and father of the woman and kids. The protagonist forces himself, and the reader, to watch the excruciating moment of penetration, driving his, and our, primal notions of human feelings toward a nightmarish train wreck.

Expect to read Found Objects carefully, as you would Somerset Maughm, and give yourself time after closing it to get a grip.