Available at Amazon, Dario Cannizzaro’s Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies is an impressively lean compendium that says a lot.
Italian-born Cannizzaro’s first language might not be English, but you wouldn’t know it to read his short story collection. However, the terrific styles on display remind me of Israel’s Etgar Keret, who I believe relies on an English-language translator. Infused with Americanisms, the short stories also have echoes of Salinger’s Holden Caulfield narration, or certain British or Irish writers who might publish, reside in the States and comment on Western culture through fictional American mouthpieces. Many of Cannizzaro’s characters are outsiders peering in on a society from which they feel Othered.
Although there are several distinct voices, the author’s work is typified by philosophical musing dressed as whimsical, offhand commentary. The frequently glib style – inter alia the peppering of one-liners that really make you sit up, and stories about zombies that match their best, similarly allegorical peers – show a
contrapunctal flair for throwaway profundity. I am reminded of the plastic bag video footage in American Beauty – or that movie’s sensibility as a whole.