Title: From A Cold Dark Place
Author: Michael Tavon
“From a Cold Dark Place is a collection of short stories and essays by Michael Tavon. The twenty four year old author shares stories and thoughts about his comically awkward sex life, police harassment, coping with loneliness and his resentment towards the blue collar lifestyle. Tavon does a brilliant job at evoking emotion while implementing his quirky humor. If you enjoy thought provoking essays and entertaining short stories this collection is perfect for you.”
One thing that I can say about this collection of short stories is that they do indeed come from a cold, dark place, and that is not bad. In fact, it is good. Tavon is brutally honest throughout the stories and shares his life as it is, without sugarcoating. And honestly? We need so much more of that in the world.
However, if you are sensitive to negativity, then this collection is not for you. Crass language is used, as well as disturbing scenes, but they are both used as necessities to portray the author’s life and experiences in detail.
“From A Cold Dark Place” is a very quick read. Each short story is only a couple of pages long and there is a poem at the end that I found to be beautiful. My favorite short story was “Because I Look Like Donald Glover”, which made me laugh out loud and sympathize for Tavon, but I also deeply admired “A Beautiful World”. This short story in particular discussed the sensitive topics of racism and police brutality in a raw and real light. Being a social work student and an advocate for equality among all, I found this short story to be one that can be educational for anyone looking for a new perspective. I also have extensive experience interning in jails and prisons and see this injustice on a daily basis. The part of this short story that made me so aggravated was when he wrote:
“A black woman goes to jail for leaving her child in a car during a job interview, but Casey Anthony and Zimmerman are still shopping for linguine recipes at local grocery stores.”
Those words could not be truer and should awaken the reader to understand just how deep this injustice and prejudice runs. Many people are unaware that racism does still indeed exist, and we need more people like Tavon to erase that myth.
Tavon is a talented author and he clearly has the eye of an observer which is important in order to be a successful author. I hope that he continues to write for as long as he lives, and I look forward to reviewing his other works.