This might seem like another predictable tale about how the bourgeois people of the city don’t know how to adapt to a small town, but the author, Japanese writer Hiroko Oyamada, manages to turn The Hole into a surreal and fantastical story that is as intense as a dream and intoxicating as a hallucination.
In her preface, she tells us that this account is based on research and her father’s experience as an adolescent in pre-war Germany, although he shared little of his memories. But Gerber wants to remember and record this time, as does Karl, in order to honor the memories of those who perished in the hands of the Nazis, and also those who, like Karl, survived, but were forever haunted by those they lost.
Having been a person who grew up as Kannadiga in suburban Atlanta, I felt like I not only relived some of my own experiences of being Western and yet outside of the West, I also felt like I lived a lifetime with Vikram. This is one of the most potent powers of writing; to make the writer, and reader, through the imprint of a page, feel as if they were one.
These girls are still alive and living in Boston! Wisel does not make moral judgments. These stories are only meant to the show us lives we often overlook. The writing is vivid: you really do see these characters, and sometimes it’s a very uncomfortable vision.
If you’re a Dostoevskian existentialist, an armchair philosopher, or just interested in international indie writing, 125 Rus is for you. Just don’t forget yourself reading it!
Editor Cherry Potts created a masterful work of art with this anthology, intricately combining poetry, short stories and flash fiction that spans a variety of themes. In all of the works, the writing is accessible, yet beautiful. The otherworldliness of spiders brings about bewitching language in almost all of the entries.
There are multiple ways to read Black Rabbit, and the reader is invited to take part in the meaning making in a way that is very open. You can imagine Maurice’s arc in multiple ways. However you choose to interpret it, Black Rabbit is a terrific read, full of unpredictable twists, well-drawn characters and an unforgettable narrative.
Reading Garstang’s The Shaman of Turtle Valley brought to mind two very different novels. Ill Will by Dan Chaon for the way it dissects American violence DNA. And The Border of Paradise by Esme Weijun Wang for exploring the cost of when a decent but oblivious American man brings back an Asian wife and settles down in a non-Urban environment. But Garstang’s net is cast wider with an eye to tie domestic issues with foreign policy.
Sommer has the ability to create believable characters and place them in real life situations, whether these situations are arranged or occur by chance. The ‘unusual’ sometimes is found in this writer’s narrative, like when she describes different types of Glutei Maximi, for those unacquainted with Latin this mean simply ‘bums’.
Author, editor, and teacher Richard Thomas talks about writing through difficult situations, about the value of MFA programs and teaching writing, about accurately representing diversity in his work as an editor, about writing across genres, and elevating genres like horror, advise to writers who might be afraid to show others their work, and lots more.