By Freshman, Michelle Friedman
“Even when our death is imminent, we carry the image of ourselves moving forward, alive, into the future.” Writes Dan Chaon in his newest collection of short stories, “Stay Awake”. He also has written “You Remind Me of Me” and “Await Your Reply”. In this anthology, Chaon presents twelve uniquely frightening, depressing and evoking short stories; they range from action-packed horror narratives, like “The Bees”, to supernatural and metaphysical anecdotes such as “The Farm. The Gold. The Lily-White Hands.”
Though Dan Chaon’s stories feature lost identities, erie signs from the underworld, demented children, and much more, I found his tales somewhat unsatisfying. A recurring theme in “Stay Awake” is an open ended plot with tons and tons of unresolved issues and unanswered questions. I found it difficult to move onto the next story without constantly wondering about the last one. On the other hand, his style could really appeal to one who enjoys pondering existentialist ideas and things of the sort.