Bay Area Trio, by Neil D. Isaacs
Jerry Klinkowitz, author of “Short Season and Other Stories” and “The American 1960s”
Keeping three balls in the air is a common trick for jugglers, but a rare feat for novelists. Working with the finer objects of words, themes, and characters, Neil Isaacs spins a story that rebounds on itself every page, Spellbinding!
Jay Neugeboren, author of “Imagining Robert” and “The Stolen Jew”
“Bay Area Trio” is a strong adventurous tale—original in conception, compelling in the haunting tale it tells. Isaacs is a splendid wordsmith, a master storyteller. All hail!”
Tom LeClair, author of “The Art of Excess” and the five-novel “Passing” series
Neil Isaacs is a master of short tales with long tails. A former literary historian and psychotherapist, he gives us in this triptych a wedding planner, a sleeper agent, and a self-analyzing social worker. Each has an appealing intimacy and surprising complexity with a deep past, an up-to-date psychology, and appears in each segment. Don’t wait for fashionable “realists” who work through multi-volumes, not when you have Isaacs’s compact threesome in “Bay Area Trio” of linked American families.
A wedding planner whose mother awaits death in an Indian ashram. A sleeper agent who doesn’t quite perceive the simmering menace around him. A social worker who edges closer and closer toward committing an unspeakable crime. Following in the tradition of place-name fiction such as Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, the three linked episodes in Neil Isaacs’ novel Bay Area Trio transport the reader into the worlds and underworlds of San Francisco and Oakland, where casual, happy-go-lucky social constellations can suddenly loom large and threatening.