Fiction. SEMIOTIC LOVE STORIES] draws upon symbols and objects to explore the loss of relationships. In these pages, Brian Phillip Whalen reaches deep into the throat of anxiety with a graceful hand and understated humor as he confronts mothers and best friends dying slow or sudden deaths, disappointing vacations, and vanishing sisters. While loss of all kinds permeates these compact stories, it is the tenderness and longing that attaches itself to the reader and propels them to turn the page. This book reminds us that for better or for worse, we're all a little rougher with the people we love the most.