August 27, 2009
From Meghan Roe’s excellent review of Once You Go Back by Douglas A. Martin, on sale directly from Seven Stories:
The training wheels come off in Douglas A. Martin’s latest novel, Once You Go Back, a coming-of-age tale that pedals through the trappings of childhood and adolescence with grace, despite rocky subject matter. From the outset, the book’s narrator asks the reader to “pretend you are my sister.” This begins as an innocent game, but the stakes grow higher as this boy and his sister are estranged from their abusive veteran father, displaced from their first home and left to struggle with their single mother in a not-so-imaginary world of making ends meet, making new friends and navigating developing sexualities in a repressed Southern community. In asking his readership to participate, Martin transforms what would otherwise be a hermetic first-person recollection, positioning his story as a shared experience.