Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors compare their recently released books to weird things. This week Robert McKean writes about Mending What Is Broken, his new novel out from Livingston Press.
If Mending What Is Broken were a play it would a rewritten fifth act of The Merchant of Venice in which the dying Shylock longs to reconcile with his estranged daughter Jessica.
If Mending What Is Broken were a story by Kafka we would find my protagonist Peter Sanguedolce waiting for a hearing all his life outside family court.
If Mending What Is Broken were a house it would be a ramshackle Tudor overlooking a small, partially demolished colonial askew on its foundation.
If Mending What Is Broken were a tree it would be a crab apple in January, its leafless branches populated with sparrows and cardinals pecking at the withered yellow fruit and squirrels lunging far out on the limbs like trapeze artists for crabs the birds have missed.
If Mending What Is Broken were a bread it would be a whole-grain boule made with freshly milled Rouge de Bordeaux wheat berries, sourdough starter, water, and salt, warmed, sliced, and drizzled with olive oil.
If Mending What Is Broken were a cocktail it would be a Rittenhouse Manhattan on ice, hold the maraschino cherry.
If Mending What Is Broken were a hat it would be a lion-colored Borsalino fedora with a grosgrain ribbon, generous brim, and a tall crown furrowed with a single voluptuous crease.
If Mending What Is Broken were a cup of tea it would be a first-flush Darjeeling with a touch of wildflower honey.
If Mending What Is Broken were a late summer afternoon it would be an aperitif in a café on a leaf-strewn Left Bank plaza.
Robert McKean’s new novel, Mending What Is Broken, has just been published by Livingston Press. McKean’s short story collection I’ll Be Here for You: Diary of a Town was awarded first-prize in the Tartts First Fiction competition (Livingston Press). His novel The Catalog of Crooked Thoughts was awarded first-prize in the Methodist University Longleaf Press Novel Contest. The novel was also named a Finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award. Recipient of a Massachusetts Artist’s Grant for his fiction, McKean has had six stories nominated for Pushcart Prizes and one story for Best of the Net. He has published extensively in journals such as The Kenyon Review, The Chicago Review, Armchair/Shotgun, Kestrel, Crack the Spine, and Border Crossing. For additional information about McKean and his Ganaego Project, please see his author’s website: www.robmckean.com, and follow him on Twitter at @mckean_rob.