Publishing webmeister, Brisbane-based refugee from North America and poetic PhD his four books include a Queensland Premier's Award-winner David P. Reiter probes the algebraic complexity of relationships in his first short story collection, Triangles.
This narrative geometry is far from Euclidean, however, a satiric eye and deceptively understated style subverting expected QEDs. Always polished and generally spare, Reiter's expositions of love and/or lust lost and/or found amuse and sometimes bemuse. Some linger longer in the mind than others, although his take is constantly fresh, his sensibility sophisticated. A similarity in story-to-story tone is but a minor flaw in what is an impressive assembly.
Murray Waldren, The Australian
With everything from suburban sex trysts
to encounters with bears in the wilds of the Canadian woods, Brisbane's
David Reiter gives his readers plenty of variety in his latest book, Triangles.
Well known on the local poetry and publishing scene, David is American born
and a long time resident of Canada, before coming here. He runs the cutting-edge
outfit Interactive Press, which publishes in book form and on the Internet
As a fan of Hemingway (a recent book
of his poetry was entitled Hemingway in Spain
and Selected Poems) it's no surprise that he's keen on the short
story, a form he's well on the way to mastering. His stories vary in style
and range from the poignant to the plain funny. The first story, Still
Life, is a touching piece about poetry and lost love. In Touching
Bear, the mood turns humorous as a young hiker is sent trail mapping
in the forest on his university holidays by a lascivious park supervisor
... "attractive enough to string along several men, so I doubted that
she'd shed many tears over my remains when they were inadvertently discovered,
weeks after I'd been dismembered, by a troop of boy scouts scrounging for
Other stories include a tale about ructions
in a suburban Brisbane cul-de-sac when two otherwise married people admit
to having sex right under the nose of the local
Neighbourhood Watch; a yarn about migrating to Queensland and a man more at home with his dogs than his family.
Phil Brown, Brisbane News
What are the stories like? I surely found them easy to read, easy to continue to the next one. There is neat phrasing to enjoy: 'Not a thread on her uniform was at ease' ("The Female Factory"); 'I learned from a very young age that God is off to the West, on top of mountains of implacable silence' ("Touching Bear"); and 'Is it our past or future we see overtaking us at the speed of light as the present cools like a dead star?' ("As Good as a Fresh Lover").
And the best is saved for last. The title story tingles like a tango that has gone 24 bars too long, and ends on a satisfying, wry grin-inducing downbeat. The orchestra is left feeling happier than the dancers.
Ross Clark, Social Alternatives
Our first short fiction title in the Literature Series, launched at Chat's Restaurant on 28 March 1999, was Triangles by David P Reiter. Cover illustration by Cate Collopy.
A separated man finds a book of poems written by an old
flame that tempts him back to a love that seemed too good to be true at the
An opera singer returns from Europe to find his music teachers
wife who taught him the meaning of true passion...
A teenage girl competing in an Eisteddfod at Port Arthur
finds that the brutal historic site and her hostess have more than a few secrets
and ghosts in common...
Migrating north to Queensland, a man finds his lover immersed
in more than a change of scene...
All hell breaks loose on a cul-de-sac when two otherwise married people admit to having it off right under the nose of Neighbourhood Watch...
Triangles was first runner-up for the 2000 Steele Rudd Short Fiction Award, as announced 18 October 2000 at the Brisbane Writers Festival. The AU$15,000 competition is the premier award for short fiction in Australia. This was the third such distinction for titles published by IP in its first two years of operation. The first two were for Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems, also by David Reiter, which was shortlisted for the 1998 Adelaide Festival Literary Awards, and Bermuda and the Other Islands, by Juliana Burgesen-Bednareck, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Mary Gilmore Award.
David P Reiter is perhaps better known as the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which, Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems, was shortlisted for the prestigious John Bray Award at the 1998 Adelaide Festival for the Arts. But he has been writing fiction longer than poetry and has had individual stories published extensively in Australia and North America, as well as being commended in competitions.
In recognition of his talent as a story teller, he was invited to be a feature reader at the 1996 American Association of Australian Literary Studies in Arcata, California along with David Malouf, where he read fiction that appears in Triangles.
Never content within the restrictions of conventional form and technique, Reiter's stories test the limits, bringing in post-modernist and magical realistic elements to complement his love of satire. His influences include James Joyce, D H Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway (of course!), John Cheever, J D Salinger and John Updike, as well as Australian authors such as Morris Lurie, Peter Carey and Frank Moorhouse.