Geography is only partly about places. People carry the land inside them, in their voices and their habits and the actions they take when they are put under pressure. For me, the most geographic story in this collection is the title story, where the topography of the house and the topography of a man’s mind join in a hymn of loss, and perhaps also hope. Being human, we make of the land what we will, but the land returns the favor. In the movie Left-Handed Gun, Pat Garrett walks in wider and wider arcs outside his home, saying , “This is my house! This is my house!” I hope I have done the same thing in these stories.
Critical praise for Richard Spilman:
“Among the things I especially admire in the six fine stories of Richard Spilman's Hot Fudge are the voices, built on an impeccable understanding of the words we speak and the way we speak them; the characters, all of whom have the power and glory of contradictions, of fully realized dimensions, and most admirable of all, Spilman's tough-minded and unflinching compassion for the people and their lives, bitter or sweet. This is a gifted writer whose stories have already earned a place among the best.”-George Garrett
"Richard Spilman is a writer who makes so many varied characters his own, who makes them turbulent, disconcerting, yet universal and plain, that he has mastered not just his fictional world, but he has mastered us, his readers."-Carolyn Chute