“The Abode of Bliss: Ten Stories for Adam” by Alex Jeffers— Who We Are

Jeffers, Alex.”The Abode of Bliss: Ten Stories for Adam”, Lethe Press, 2011.

Who We Are

Amos Lassen

Identity is a major issue in our community as so many of us do not take the time to understand who we are while at the same time expecting others to accept us. Our main character here is Ziya, a young man from Istanbul who learns who he is while he explains himself to Adam, his lover and in his stories are our stories.

Ziya was raised in Istanbul, a cosmopolitan city and he grew up bilingual. He spent a lot of time in Bodrum, an Aegean resort city and then went to college in America where he found friends and sex. We see from his stories that we are all the same in many aspects and that we all basically share experiences. In the ten stories here, the world becomes a much smaller place. While the locations are not the same, the experiences are similar and it is easy to transpose ourselves into some of what is written here.

Alex Jeffers is a writer’s writer and I remember reading his work as it came out but it has been a long time since he gave us something new. The wait is over and as much as I hate to say it is worth it (because I would have liked something during that wait), it is well worth it. Here is a book of stories in which each one is sheer perfection. The prose is sublime, the characters are beautifully drawn and we get a chance to see what the word literature means (as opposed to writing). I think we should all write to Alex Jeffers and let him know that we do want to wait another fifteen years for him to write something.