The unforgettable stories in Robert Lopez's Asunder vary in length and style, but all of them devastate, all constantly cross the boundaries between poetry and prose. Here we have characters who are uncertain of themselves, of the people surrounding them. Here people are in trouble and need help. The compressed lyricism of these stories seems driven by the silence of what is not said, what lies beneath the lines and between them. As in his novels Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, this elliptical tension of the language gives way to moments of grace and savage humor, leaving the reader startled, as though the world were a complete surprise.

Praise and Reviews

"If Lopez’s earlier books didn’t prove to readers that he is a word-storm, a force of literary nature come unhinged, blowing shutters against readers’ houses, then Asunder surely will. This is a collection as proof, a collection as loveliness, a collection as rippage, and we are lucky to get it into our waiting hands, its words into our heads." —J.A. Tyler, The Rumpus

"He indulges in monologues, daydreams, and narrative meanderings, the sentences firing off and ending like flash messages between synapses...that's why it was such a thrill and a pleasure to read." —The Literary Review

"Lopez confronts the world of page-long descriptions and destroys the notion that a good story needs to be overly saturated... The opposite could be said of the stories in Asunder. In a world of noise, Lopez offers quiet. There is a tremendous restraint to the language in the collection. The prose is simple and powerful; it reminds the reader that sometimes more is conveyed in silences." —Tyler Gillespie,Ampersand Books

Admirers of the short-short form will appreciate this collection. With perfection in phrasing and attention to the minutiae of prose, Asunder presents a model for how new the English language can seem. There is nothing tried or tired here." —Alex Myers, NewPages--