Very grateful for this starred review of Collision: Stories by Paula Guran at Locus Magazine.
Whether her name is familiar or not, her debut collection, Collision: Stories, should be on your “must read” list. Breukelaar, an American living in Sydney, Australia, writes in a clean, incisive style with razor-sharp opening hooks, while blending the literary, the speculative, and the weird. The earliest of the 12 stories was published in 2011 and there are three originals. All are unsettling. If any themes tie them together, it may be that the real and the unreal can and do coexist and that, however dire life may be, there is usually at least a modicum of optimism to be found. Another unifying factor is that the characters are all so normal and knowable while also being completely abnormal and unpredictable.