Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod is anything but light. In a collection of seven short stories, his characters face the physical reality of life, death, illness, and exhaustion. They are fighters, they are bricklayers, they are swimmers struggling for life against the Nova Scotia tide. MacLeod structures the majority of his stories with a tight [...]
Tag Archives: Reviews
Kurt Cobain once said: I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not. In her short story collection What Boys Like, Amy Jones illustrates many characters who, in these fifteen brilliantly well-crafted tales, much like Cobain, revel in their own uniqueness of who they are, rather than who they are not. Jones takes great care to explore the tenuous, callous and often humorous boundaries of human relationships, while maintaining one consistent theme, it seems: everyone has something to lose.
Recently, I have been trying to understand how women, as lovers, observers, as teachers and veterans, mothers and wives, and especially as female poets, understand and feel about war in all its many forms. Jehanne Dubrow, in her third poetry collection, Stateside, addresses a sub-culture often without recognition: the women waiting at home for the men who are deployed overseas. Her collection digs into the emotional wax and wan that can build, distress, destroy, or strengthen, both a woman and her marriage.
Sheila Lamb reviews Once by Rebecca Rosenblum
One thing I want to see more of is variety on the SFWP journal. To this end, I pulled in Ryan Sparks as the editor about a year ago. Our goal is to quietly expand upon the journal’s mission. Initially, back in 2002, the journal existed to feature Awards Program participants. Then we branched out [...]
Sheila Lamb reviews The Returning, by Christine Hinwood.
That Paris Year by Joanna Biggar (Bethesda, Maryland : Alan Squire Publisher, 2010) is a novel that recounts the adventures of five southern California ‘Junior-Year-Abroad’ female college students (dare I say ‘co-eds’) in Paris during academic year 1962—1963 while attending the Sorbonne’s Studies in French Language and Culture (Cours de Civilization Française) designed for visiting foreign students.
Although I’m not generally a non-fiction reader, Robin Meloy Goldsby’s Piano Girl–more a collection of snapshots than straight up memoir–is a bright and fascinating peek into the life of a professional piano player. Beginning with Goldby’s teenage introduction to the biz–via a job in a bar on Nantucket, where Goldsby was paid in a mixture of food, cash, and advice–we skate through her time playing venues as diverse as lounges, high end hotels, and roadside motor inns.
Joshua Ferris’ second novel, The Unnamed, is a book best read by daylight. It’s a book that has to be read piecemeal, chunked into digestible bites, partially because of the disturbing plot, partially because of the purple prose.
There’s something compelling about a Jasper Fforde novel, something that sucks you into the story, tossing you along until the end when it finally grinds you up and spits you out before you even know what’s happened. Fforde is a true satirist, not just pulling apart the way we tell stories, but pulling apart accepted critical conventions and putting them back together again, reinterpreting criticism and analysis from the inside out.