A Brief History of Camouflage

Thaisa Frank writes of lives that brush up against one another, but cannot fuse because of their characters' reluctance to be known, reluctance to be loved. A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMOUFLAGE traces loss of love, elided empathy, and persistent memory in the cycles of knowing and not knowing one another. "My mother fell asleep right away and an ineffable membrane opened between us. I felt her heart and breath, fueled by mysterious powers, love beyond her knowledge of it." (from "Night Visit").


from San Francisco Chronicle:
In the spell-like, poetic fiction of Thaisa Frank, the fantastic is never far from the ordinary: her characters glimpse other worlds in their rear-view mirrors, receive postcards from long-dead friends, and take lovers who literally glow in the dark, their mustaches filaments, their pubic hair incandescent. Call it 'domestic magical realism, 'call it the work of a West Coast I.B.Singer, it’s fiction that 'packs an emotional punch that will leave the reader gasping.'

from Robert Hurwitt, East Bay Express:
Curiously compelling scenes of domestic magical realism in which wives struggle to remember long-forgotten former husbands and spies cope with sexual geography.

from Irving Malin, Review of Contemporary Fiction:

This oddly beautiful collection of stories....[is] duplicitous, hallucinatory, mysterious....Frank continually startles us. She alerts us to the fact that we are always on the edge, never knowing who we are, why we live, why we exist. Thinking is 'camouflage'--the terrifying condition of life.

from Linda Rogers, San Francisco Chronicle:
...Thaisa Frank's stories read like frontline reports from the ongoing guerilla warfare that engulfs families today. Written in a terse, economic style, they are capable of packing an emotional punch that will leave the reader gasping in recognition.

from Terri Harden, Small Press Magazine:
This collection of stories brilliantly examines the detachment within intimacy which seem to plague men and women today....shows wit and invention...arresting and thought-provoking.

from Karen Kevorkian, Express Books:
Frank...reels you in with phrases of such precision they have the authority of revelation....Her writing is so economical and tight, the stories feel like fabulous artifacts.

from Cara Diaconoff, Indiana Review:
These stories interweave overtly symbolic strands of narrative with wryly observed details of ordinary domestic life in such a way that not only deepens our notions of the ordinary but startles us into fresh ways of looking at the particular symbol....controlled, yet passionate.