Marvelously crafted, slyly sidestepping the reader's expectations, the characters in Karen Heuler's The Other Door respond to the unexpected events in their lives, accepting and then rising to the challenges, no matter how strange. For them, reality requires invention.
In "The Second Coming," the Virgin Mary steps down from her backyard visitations to join the new incarnation of Christ. In "Like a Piston, Like a Flame" a dancer finds a new way to perform after a freak accident destroys her legs, but not her will. The title story, "The Other Door," presents a woman who finds a long- forgotten door in her apartment and upon opening it is led from one surprise to another.
Although many of the stories in The Other Door have qualities reminiscent of traditional fables, they are perhaps more fabulous than fabular. They are contemporary folktales, at times venturing into fantasy while retaining the details of everyday experience and psychological authenticity. As in the best folktales and fables, symbols and suggestions come to life and are often linked to the powers of imagination and memory as a means of reconciling the characters to cycles of life and death.
The Other Door marks the arrival of a writer whose vision is radical, dislocating, and enthralling.