Haunting is the word that best describes this beautifully written collection of fourteen stories by Lynn Sloan. With a deft touch, Sloan pulls aside the curtain on a varied chorus of characters who are struggling to escape circumstances that limit and overshadow their lives. Despite often heroic efforts, they remain ensnared by pasts that they cannot outrun. In some instances Sloan’s protagonists are keenly aware of the history to which they are shackled, but more than one is surprised when the harsh truth emerges.
Sloan is a master of description and understatement. Her sentences flow and then jab at just the right moment. As impressive as the writing and insight into human dynamics is the range of experiences that she brings to life on the page. This Far Isn’t Far Enough moves from the cramped ghetto apartment of a chef struggling to reestablish himself; to a shabby downtown office where an aging actor auditions for a role in a cut-rate commercial; and, in “Lost and Found” — one of the most chilling stories in the collection — to the sweaty, teeming streets of Thailand where a young woman makes a shocking and heart-breaking discovery. These are stories of pathos and the fragility of the human condition, stories whose simple truths and sadness linger.
Sloan is a writer and photographer. She is the author of the novel Principles of Navigation and of short stories that have appeared in a number of publications, including Ploughshares and American Literary Review. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Until recently, she taught photography at Columbia College Chicago.