KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Ilana Masad

It's been a minute since I've read a book whose narrator I didn't like at first. Maybe it's because some part of me, the perfectionist hungry to be loved and eager to be accepted, shies away from protagonists who don't care about such things. Maybe I just haven't been reading many narratives told in first person recently. Probably, it's a mix of both.

It's fitting that Lindsey Drager's third novel, The Archive of Alternate Endings, comes out so soon after Dr. Katie Bouman and her team took the first photograph of a black hole. After all, a black hole is the opposite of a story: The black hole pulls matter into it without letting it escape, effectively making it disappear, while a story can continue to radiate meaning and matter into the world long after it is first told — as long as there's someone left to tell it.

When the kerfuffle over the impending release of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman was cluttering up my news feeds in 2015, I confess that I didn't pay much attention.