In these 12 stories, all of Blagrave’s characters struggle with their mental and physical health. It is within their inability to communicate the author artfully focuses and meditates on the mineral that both delights palates and, if taken in excess, ruins meals and bodies.
Several of the story titles make note of the collection’s theme: “Salt in the Wounds”, “Love You Like Salt”, and “Spilling the Salt”. In “Rupert and Sophia”, the two linger in longing over a salt cellar. Blagrave doesn’t hit readers over the head with his salt metaphors and insights; in fact, he sprinkles to perfect taste.
In the title story he writes, “The part that has disappeared, that is the sulfur, the spirit. What is left behind, the ash, is the salt, the body.”
While salt can enhance, it can also distract, and moreover, if it can’t be tasted, like Claire in “Ageusia,” who is dating Antoine, a chef, it can be the sign of a much larger issue.
Salt in the Wounds
by Mark Blagrave
$21.95, paperback, 288 pp.
Cormorant Books, August 2014