Making use of a diverse array of narrative modes, settings, and voices, these stories traverse space and time, moving from Egypt during the Second World War to modern-day Liberia and an unfamiliar Los Angeles. The title story, “Termination Shock,” offers a lyrical exploration of two traumatic moments in a woman’s life that occur decades apart and continue to reverberate in humorous and poignant ways. Janice Margolis shows us characters on the precipice of change—including a narrator in fevered quarantine following the death of her mother from Ebola, a cross-cultural love in a swiftly transforming Syria, and the desolation of the Berlin Wall, which from its various sectors and coordinates, confesses its crimes and mourns its destruction.
"Janice Margolis has a completely unique style of imagining, and a gift for making her imaginings vivid. Her prose is sharply syncopated and full of surprises. The world feels freshly seen, freshly inhabited."—Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age
"Each of the stories in Janice Margolis’s Termination Shocks presents a vision of reality fractured into strangeness, yet eerily familiar. This is a singular collection from a truly skilled new voice in fiction."—Sabina Murray, author of Valiant Gentlemen: A Novel
"A vigorous and inspired collection of unique fiction, widely roaming, wildly unreeling, with cracks so wide a lion enters. Janice Margolis is a fearless and compassionate writer of impressive scope and cogency."—Rikki Ducornet, author of Brightfellow: A Novel and The Deep Zoo