THE OLD PRIEST by Anthony Wallace reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin • Cleaver Magazine
THE OLD PRIEST by Anthony Wallace University of Pittsburgh Press 2013 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, 170 pages reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin “Let’s leave Limit,” says Anna to her husband Phil, the narrator of Anthony Wallace’s story “Snow behind the door.” Limit is a fictional New Jersey town near Atlantic City and a metaphor for the physical and emotional borders that confine Phil and the other protagonists in this searing, surprising collection. Phil and Anna want to escape—their neighborhood is in decline, the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking—but at what cost? To what end? What’s keeping them? What’s begging them past the border? Phil and Anna could leave. She suggests they open a restaurant in an old industrial town in upstate New York that’s “just begging for this kind of thing.” But Phil’s grandmother Rose is dying; they can’t leave her, not yet, anyway. He needs her too—as he listens to … chop! chop! read more!