Monday, August 30, 2010

Cheyenne Madonna @ The Irish Examiner

by David O'Mahoney at The Irish Examiner:

“Chuculate, a well-travelled journalist, writes with a warm informality. The tone is often conversational and never art for art’s sake. This gives the reader a greater sense that the characters are people, not just pictures on the page.

He also has a knack for words that just fit.

When Jordan describes his assault trial ‘a Mickey Mouse, kangaroo clusterf**k of proceedings,’ given how much attention the Indian legal system has given it, you feel that, for all its vulgarity, it is simply the right word for the job. But he can conjure up wonderful dramatic imagery as well. When he describes a forming tornado as ‘three skinny dancing ropes’ that ‘dropped from the wall of bruised clouds,’ you have a tight sense of what it must be like to be caught in a storm the likes of which you have never seen.

Chuculate has already made an impact with his short story work.

His ‘Galveston Bay, 1826’, the sort of origin tale that opens Cheyenne Madonna, won the PEN / O. Henry awards in 2007, putting him alongside previous winners such as Stephen King and William Faulkner. This collection shows it was no flash in the pan victory, but rather a sign of things to come.”

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