I was reading David Gilbert’s Sunday NY Times review of Aleksandar Hemon’s The Making of Zombie Wars when I stumbled on a word. In the course of praising Hemon’s “wonderful, autobiographical short stories,” Gilbert wrote:
In 2000 came a highly praised collection, “The Question of Bruno,” followed a couple of years later by the even better “Nowhere Man,” after which he made a detour into novel terrain with “The Lazarus Project” before returning to the tombolo of short stories with “Love and Obstacles.”
I wasn’t familiar with tombolo, so I looked it up and discovered it was (per M-W) “a sand or gravel bar connecting an island with the mainland or another island” (it’s Italian, from Latin tumulus ‘mound, tumulus’; you can see a nice picture of one at the Wikipedia article). It’s a nice word that I’m pleased to have learned, but I don’t see what sense it makes to talk about “the tombolo of short stories.” Am I missing something, or is Gilbert misusing the word?