quartet for inside voices
(winnipeg: side by side productions, 2019)
The four novellas of Quartet are joined at the heart by characters bent by constraints they dimly comprehend yet struggle to reconfigure. Iris, seemingly haunted by the sudden death of her husband, reluctantly unburies the reality of her lost lover. Frieda, tempted by the vision of the “prettier life” money can buy, finds herself imprisoned within the unrelenting sadism of the trick she turned and fleeced. A group of friends, committed to the return of their dead mentor, host his revival in what they believe is the natural consequence of their humanity. Vera, avid for rescue from the solitary world she has constructed, plots the theft of another man’s life and the disposal of his beloved. Inspired by Schnitzer’s own experience of loss, the collection gives voice to stories of longing where seeming and actual violations of norm and expectation rupture rights, rule, and ritual.