"Corinna leafed her fingers along the surface of the water like an actress playing languorous."
That is the first line from the debut novel, Under The Small Lights (May, 2010 Miami University Press), from Boston's John Cotter. I've only had the book in my hands for the about 36 hours, but already I am riveted. John read at the Orange Alert Reading Series at The Whistler on Sunday, and to use a cliché, he had me at "Hello". John has one of those deep, rich radio voices that naturally lends itself to storytelling.
Under The Small Lights is a coming of age story about 20-somethings seeking art and love (or some version of love), and like many novels about 20-somethings it is filled with sex and drugs. John's parents were in the audience on Sunday so John selected a couple of more censored passages to read. The novel still came off as compelling and extremely well-written.