Fiction. The illusionist Benjamin Vaughn is fourteen years old when he dies under mysterious circumstances at the height of his short career. In the wake of his death, the life of this brilliant yet reclusive prodigy known as "The Great Bendini" is meticulously chronicled by an unnamed narrator who encountered Vaughn when he himself was a boy. Set amidst dusty Northern California towns in the 1990s, the narrator—now an academic and father to a son of his own—unfurls a layered testimony that blurs the line between the observer and the observed; between ambitions that have the potential to transcend, and those with the capacity to destroy.Deployed with immersive detail and haunting observations, Gabriel Urza's novella is a heartbreaking examination of adolescence as it collides with the ephemeral nature of time and mortality.
author site"Best of 2019: Best Fiction Books" @ Entropy
Gabriel Urza is the author of the novel All That Followed (Henry Holt & Co.). His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Politico, Guernica, and elsewhere. He teaches fiction in the MFA program at Portland State University.Author City: HOOD RIVER, OR USA