Cutbacks in social spending force a rundown urban mental institution to shutter its doors. The patients are given a jacket, a bag lunch, and shown the door. As they enter an alien world, our unnamed protagonist must now wander the streets homeless. Winter is coming on, he can't remember any of his pre-institutional life, and for the first time in twenty years his medications are wearing off.
Can you imagine an amnesia so thorough that you wander the world recognizing nothing, even yourself? To make such a dislocated mindset a deeply personal experience for the reader, this is the journey of Stone Flag, a literary novel told from the POV of a sufferer of Multiple Personality Disorder.
How did he end up this way? What events might cause a person to fragment into embodiments of his various character traits? Unraveling this mystery is our hero's quest, and in its pursuit he has a nemesis. Any time he recalls a memory too threatening to his fragile sense of self, he sees floating in on the wind a stream of malevolent bubbles, a leering face trapped in each. Should just one pop anywhere on him, the character trapped therein takes over his body, takes over the narrative, and Bam! a new chapter begins in a different voice, one that sees the same world through the unique filter of its own personality.
Written in a poetic style meant to conjure a mind trying to grasp at understanding, Stone Flag upholds the best literary traditions: Rich language, penetrating character depth, and themes which explore the elusive underpinnings of mortal life. I set out to write a Great American novel to tackle some of the bigger philosophical questions, binding it to a plot that drives on with enough adventure to make the ponderables go down easy. The only question is if I have the chops to pull it off. After cracking away at my craft for a few decades, I'd like to suppose I've got what it takes. During all that time of practice though, I was regrettably deficient at currying the connections necessary to break through in the publishing world. Though I remain optimistic, at this writing I still have not found representation for my material. Hence this page. If the vagaries of Google lead enough interested parties to my site, it is hoped a groundswell could eventually force the hand of an industry that has thus far remained cool to my more artistic approach.
To contact me: DGBarlow@aol.com