Brewer’s narrator recounts his past while hurtling through the Italian countryside on the Frecciarossa (the eponymous Red Arrow, an Italian high speed train) to a meeting that will alter his future. Plagued since youth by severe depression, which manifests as a haunting, ubiquitous Mist, he has recently undergone a novel treatment which has radically changed his perspective, allowing him to come to terms with his history and envision a life free from his crippling burden. But first, he must deal with the lone remaining thread tying him to his previous self. Written with elegant, painterly sentences and light touches of humor, Brewer’s tale examines memory, perception of time, the meaning of originality, and how these forces shape identity and self-perception.
The Red Arrow, by William Brewer