Imagine a venn diagram, with one circle labelled "Stories" and another labelled "Poetry" and yet another labelled "The Journal from an Imagined Life" and where the circles intersect, you would have The Uncertainty Principle. Each story, and thus each page, is a surprise, a discovery, and a reminder that art exists in even the smallest nooks and crannies.
The brevity of rob mclennan's stories is deceiving. Hugely original, enticing and satisfying, his jigsaw of popular culture and classic events, intersecting lives we never imagined, is poetic, as only a poet can write them. "There are ghosts set along every journey," he says, and his writing embraces them all, capturing the essence of the change we have endured.
You will come to realize, as you read this book, that there are things that happened here before you ever arrived, things that are impossible to verify, things that will forever remain impossible to verify. I never know what I might find when I read a book by rob. These little stories are hard to talk about. They almost insist that you don't talk about them. You can only really repeat what rob has already managed. Like a yacht on a sandy hill in Idaho, this book is just a wonderful, useless thing.
In his first collection of short stories, rob mclennan's The Uncertainty Principle uses not a single wasted word to explore history, contemporary culture, human relationships, and the ways in which we live. His microfictions highlight our most important moments and big stories told in the tiniest of spaces. Small novels and even smaller stories are all written in dense, packed prose. Carve, slowly. Carve further, even slower. Pause. Listen.
Born in Ottawa, Canada's glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010 and was long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012. His most recent titles include notes and dispatches: essays (Insomniac press, 2014), the poetry collection Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), and a second novel, missing persons (Mercury Press, 2009). His fiction has appeared in a variety of venues over the past few years, including The Puritan, Numero Cinq, The Windsor Review, Grain magazine, matchbooklit, Matrix magazine, Atlas Review, and Reader's Digest Canada, and he is currently working to complete a novel. He spent the 2007–2008 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com