Why I Love Shawn Cosby’s Work

Raw. Raw fear. Raw rage. Raw passion and love. Real life. We don’t read a book, we feel it. Or don’t.

Shawn Cosby’s work gives us the life that feels rather than the so-called writerly “showing”of bit lips and drumming fingers, mere mini portholes to the soul covered by translucent shades lest anybody be uncomfortable. They’re intended to guard against vulnerability and be acceptable to a crowd equally alienated from its own feelings—strangers in a strange land of the head in which abstract thinking is a substitute for living, yet as insubstantial and ephemeral as a synaptic pulse. Such characters, be they writers or fictional or Fred next door, bore; their inner landscape is moon-like with interesting mountains and valleys but ameliorated by layers of dust feet thick.

I have argued against death-of-the-novel rhetoric by claiming it to be the best art form to capture the human experience in all its complexity, its scope amenable to getting to the inside of the inside of the inside. I try to do that in my stories. So does Shawn. He does it really well.

So keep going, my friend, because when you’re on the right track, every station you go by is the right station.