The three works in this volume concern people either slipping from or trying to grasp needed levels in life. In “The Case of Arlene,” a mental patient will only reveal her traumatic past to an itinerant part-time worker, creating intrigues within their facility. “The Lightweight,” written in verse, is essentially an epic poem about a “regular guy.” His story offers meaning in its commonality with the aspirations and weaknesses of many other people. In “The Celestial Opera,” a reunion of two old friends at a funeral leads to deeper understanding of life, death, and what may lie beyond.
James I. McGovern is originally from Connecticut but has lived primarily in the Midwest. He earned a graduate degree in literature and this disposed him to write as an avocation. After some success with articles and short stories, he published a number of novels, including Aura of Purgatory and Beyond the Failure Club. A previous group of shorter works was published as The Twin Fortunes and Other Stories. Having retired from government service and teaching, Mr. McGovern currently resides in northern Illinois.