By Dan Sanders
Winner of the 41st International 3-Day Novel Writing Contest
Alan is unsure if he is dead or dreaming, he only knows that he is stuck in a loop. He finds himself being forced to walk along a straight path through an unending pine forest where any deviation from the path causes him to black out and begin again. Dipping in and out of an endless purgatorial walk, Alan relives key moments in his life where he missed the opportunity to learn, escape, and change: The death of his mother, an abusive relationship with his father, and the opportunity to connect with his only real friend, a neighbour he never speaks to named Edgar.
The Loop chronicles the life of an alcoholic who is unable to escape his past to explore the ways in which abuse can shape someone into their abuser and the ways trauma can transfer from one generation to the next. How much of who we are is who we are? How much of it is someone else? What if this has all happened before?
Advance praise for The Loop:
“In Dan Sanders’s The Loop, an important look at addiction, family, and the fight to never lose sight of oneself, each moment happens now, happens then, happens later, happens always. Its gorgeous prose and dreamy imagery offer us a fugue, a symphony, an endless walk with a wrenching of an ending. Here, in this brief novel’s life, you may find the world: pain, beauty, heartbreak, hope, darkness, and light. But you must pace yourself.”
—Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You’re Hungry
Dan Sanders is a writer of short fiction, essays and vending machine repair guides. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Split Lip Magazine, Okay Donkey, The Hong Kong Review and wherever fine vending equipment is sold. Dan lives in Media, Pennsylvania and can be found online at dan-sanders.com. The Loop is his first published novel.