In Jim Savio's collection of stories, The Fairy Flag, we find characters like Willy Jonas, in Traveling North, or the mother photographer in, The Snake, who seem if not content, at least resigned to living on the edge. In the same way that Bobby and Munro, in the title story, stare at the familiar, rugged coastline of Scotland and see it only as ephemeral shapes on a radar screen, the hope of redemption remains dim for most of the people inhabiting the pages of this book. However, something surfaces from the depths of their chaos and plugs the hole in their despair. Against the backdrop of geography from South Florida to South America, Scotland, New Jersey, Italy and the Far East these stories resonate with the reality of their character's lives and the underlying truth we look for in a myth.
These stories will be appreciated by a wide audience, as they evoke wide ranges of emotion, from the violent to the poetic.
Savio is oh so savvy. He knows how to write scary stuff and make it beautiful to read or take beautiful stuff and make it scary. He is not for the sleepless or feint of heart, but a good tonic for the restless and irritable of the world. Be aware: read with care.
In a stunning and original collection of first fiction Jim Savio opens to the very heart of American life by examining the lives of peripatetic university professors, children, drug dealers and prisoners with a power and a beauty reminiscent of Denis Johnson. Savio manages to create art that is profoundly political and yet unforgettable in its violence and beauty. An absolutely amazing debut collection!
The Fairy Flag is a neat package of stories. I really admire the variety of styles and forms. Reminds me of a Beatles album: lots of tasty licks with no repetition...suggestive of a Protean talent.
David Daniel, author of White Rabbit
Jim Savio's collection of short stories had me captivated. Sometimes you get the tone of a writer's voice and it tells you what it wants you to remember, and after that you would follow that writer into any story he wanted to tell you. It's a book full of surprises and of sentences one wants to read over several times. Savio is a thoughtful, unusual writer and the taste I had of him here makes me want to read more.
Rosalind Brackenbury, book review Solares Hill, October, 2001
Not since Raymond Carver have characters been so raw that they're real, and so real that they're mesmerizing.
Jim Savio is a carpenter by trade, and teaches writing, literature and film analysis at The City College Center for Worker Education and Parsons School of Design, in NYC. He has co-authored one novel,written other short stories and essays, and recently completed the first draft of his second long work of fiction, What They Did. Several of the stories that appear in this collection have won fiction awards.