Young Revolutionaries

Young Revolutionaries is a chapbook by Chelsea Martin, Catherine Lacey and Ellen Kennedy.

I like this book. Each person’s section does something completely different from the other two. This way, there’s no room for competition among the stories. Instead, the stories rub up against each other in an exciting way and make the book feel like a variety show. (And everybody loves a variety show.) It’s a good argument for sharing a chapbook with other writers. It makes me want to do it too instead of hogging the spotlight.

From Martin’s good, too-short first section, “Things I Know”: “What do you do with a box of 50,000 condoms? Put the box by your bed and when people come over and look inquisitively into the box, make an exhausted, dreamy expression.”

From Lacey’s “Spending Too Much Time Around People Who Like Me”: “Anytime I read a book about Pompeii, it bothered me when the historians assumed every man and woman pair were husband and wife or at least in love or died in some kind of romantic way… Lava can do that. It can make people appear to be in love.”

Kennedy is good at describing social awkwardness/boredom, TV to comic effect (“They show him screaming in a parking lot while smoking.”), and a girl and her dad ganging up on mom.

Would this chapbook be more electable if it wore a flag pin on its lapel? Maybe (particularly when trying to make a good first impression), but the writing is good enough that anyone who actually reads the chapbook will not question the patriotism of these fine women.

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