Cecile Rossant’s About Face is an eclectic jumble of short fiction, ranging in length from three and a half lines to 23 pages, sucks you in under the pretence of being short stories and before you know it, lo-and-behold, you realize you’re reading a poem. It may not always look like a poem, or even sound like one, but Rossant’s writing is so beautiful, so lyrical that by the end of the collection there is no doubt: poetry it must be.
“Cecile Rossant’s fiction follows the economical arc of dreams, of dream logic and imagery. Many of these stories are as brief as lyric poems. Others (notably The Belly of a Bird, a lovingly painstaking account of cooking and sensuality) offer the pleasures of accreted description and twisting plot. Humor and grief thread their way through the work in unexpected ways. But in all of Rossant’s stories the reader can’t help but admire the intensity, the physicality, the directness, the quirkiness of vision. There is nothing easily conventional here, and because there isn’t, we must look and think and feel.”—Mary Jo Salter