Quarantine is a book one can walk with. I have done so, literally, on the summer-steam streets of Louisville, and again in the dappled light of Bethel, Maine’s asphalt roads and gravel trails. A book that becomes a walking companion is one that isn’t in a rush because, pages in front of your face, rocks and pot holes and road kill in your pathway, you can’t be in a rush either.
Even after multiple readings, Rahul Mehta’s lovely and important collection of stories never let me down—they became, even on those first walks, I dare say, a tool that sharpened both my perception and my ability to sidestep and sally forth. So many thoughtful moments to pull away from and ponder, stories at my side; so many robust and straightforward lines on which to pause and re-read for the sheer pleasure. Moments of clarity where I saw, truly, what was in front of me, and was curious about what I could not see both on the page and out there on the terra firma.