Laboratory of Love, The
The Laboratory of Love by Patrick Roscoe
first published in 2013, paperback
A beautiful suite of stories set in Spain, Africa, and North America: an elegy to love, longing, and the eternal outsider.
The truth I seek lies beneath the skin, under flesh, below bone, beyond scalpel’s reach.
In the 1990s, Patrick Roscoe was known as the great iconoclast of Canadian fiction. As author of such acclaimed short-story collections as Birthmarks and Beneath the Western Slopes and the novels God’s Peculiar Care and The Lost Oasis, his work revealed a deeply personal artfulness and a rare gift for language and character.
After dropping out of sight for twelve years, Patrick reclaims his rightful place in the literary limelight with this powerful suite of short fiction set in Spain, Africa, California, and British Columbia. Haunted by wild dogs, tattoo artists, and murdered children, Patrick Roscoe's characters―lonely, damaged, nomadic―are outsiders in an often brutal and punishing landscape whose disturbing darkness is illuminated by flashes of beauty. In Roscoe's beguiling laboratory, science meets emotion in experiments that attempt to decipher the forces of love, loss, and longing.
Find him beside the creek, beyond the wooden bridge, where moss upholsters stones and roots, sponged green clings to winter water. Exposing spring has melted snow that covered him, melted flesh that draped him; his faith in me has faded with his breath, his bones have already bleached with broken trust, they don't believe in my approach across rusted needles fallen from the towering pines. The creek insists upon the exuberant season, throws itself upon your slate skull, splashes through your silence. Billy, it's me, remember. In the cage my knuckles delivered an oath upon the wall between us: even if our escapes are individual, even if survival separates us, even if we alter into unrecognizable forms, I will always find you.