A finalist for the 2014 Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award, Off-ramp is the debut short fiction collection of Gary Cummiskey and consists of ten stories often characterised by a surreal eroticism. Set mainly in contemporary South Africa, the book opens with a young man’s hallucinatory encounter with a derelict in a Johannesburg street; there is a couple’s visit to a sinister Free State farm; an editor who reluctantly agrees to meet an aspiring woman writer at midnight; two young men who go out on a drinking spree as the country teeters on the edge of civil war; a restless teenager who stalks an unknown woman; and a middle-aged academic who engages in an obsessive, sadistic relationship with a prostitute.
The stories in this startling collection offer a vision of individuals who are slowly being devoured by paranoia and absurdity. Beyond the off-ramp lies a pervasive, heavy dread and an unnameable, perhaps unknowable fear. Cummiskey creates an off-kilter reality that is both disturbing and compelling.
Off-ramp is available at R150 per copy, including postage, for South Africa. For overseas the cost is R200, including postage.
Email me at dyehardpress@iafrica,com for order details.