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Chad Simpson - Tell Everyone I Said HiStories of Separation

A review of

Tell Everyone I Said Hi: Stories

Chad Simpson

Paperback: University of Iowa Press, 2012.
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Reviewed by Greg Schreur

Perhaps you’ve said it yourself: “Tell everyone I said ‘hi’.” Or you’ve heard someone say it. In either case, lives have gone their separate ways. In happier cases, both individuals have moved on to better things, but occasionally that’s not the case. Maybe one has moved on, leaving the others behind. Maybe the one is who was left behind and now longs for those better, bygone days. In any case, life has somehow dictated separation.

Chad Simpson’s slim collection of short stories collectively speak to this idea, this condition of separation, be it physical, emotional, or even potential. The stories average fewer than ten pages long—although many are only a few pages—giving the impression, which short stories are uniquely able to, of glimpsing into strangers’ personal lives. In this case, the effect is similar to yet the opposite of watching people at the airport: rather than witnessing happy reunions or bittersweet departures, we view lives already (or in the process of being) separated and, in some cases, on their way to being reconnected.

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