Stephanie Soileau’s “The Ranger Queen of Sulphur” is a masterful exploration of the traps we see and unwittingly set for ourselves when we accept too many limitations.
I grew up in a small decaying town, and I know the feeling of being trapped, the sense of having no options, that can prevail in these areas. Stephanie Soileau’s “The Ranger Queen of Sulphur” is set in one of these towns—Sulphur, Louisiana—and tells the story of Deana, a young woman in her mid-twenties who has eschewed self-improvement all her life and is now trapped in a low-paying, exploitative job she hates. Never one to hope for herself, Deana fixates on helping her brother, Jonathan, overcome his obesity.
The language of the piece is simple and straightforward, perfectly capturing Deana’s thoughts, and the bleak, hopeless atmosphere, without sacrificing art or lyricism. The sentences have a quiet rhythm, forlorn and practical, yet musical. Each scene too is well-drawn, giving a sense of completeness and desolation.Continue Reading