Abruptions: 3 Minute Stories to Awaken the Mind
Jack Matthews, author
During the last decade of his life, author Jack Matthews wrote a series of 1-2 page prose pieces (which he dubbed "Abruptions" or "very short stories that end abruptly"). Matthews had already published over 20 books of fiction with an astonishing variety of characters and plots. This last volume hints at a lot of characters and plots without trying to resolve them. Each abruption — which rarely takes more than 5 minutes to read — sheds light on something unexpected, whether it be a character's view on life or the reader's notions of how the world ought to work. Many episodes read like contemporary fables or sketches of quirky people from small midwest towns. Other stories sound like wild fairy tales. Some stories simply ponder the imponderable. Matthews explains in the book's preface that abruptions "can reach down to dimensions of wonder and speculation that are commonly thought to be the proper domain of poetry." These stories are a fitting coda for Matthew's career as a storyteller. As deep and dark as these abruptions can become, they are told with simple language, flashes of humor and a sage's sense of wonder and irony.