Showing posts from April, 2019

Short fiction recs! Feb and March 2019. Also book recs and an essay!

Hmm, I meant to start publishing these short fiction round-ups monthly, but time got away from me (as it often does), and it seems I’m on a bimonthly schedule again. As always, there was way too much good fiction published for any one person to read, and I know that I missed a lot. But here’s a selection of some of what I did read, and love, in February and March. Stories of Magic, Stories of Horror “Dustdaughter” by Inda Lauryn in Uncanny Moonless midnight. She had never heard it described that way, usually her father making the declaration “At least they won’t see the dirt on her too good.” A teacher using her as an example of what you would look like coming out of the Le Brea Tar Pits—when she became the official playground monster. Her mother not going to the school to raise hell against a teacher becoming her child’s bully. “That’s the way it is for girls like us, Dust. Might as well get used to people treating you this way.” But moonless midnight felt like part

Book review: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

All her life, Lee Lien has heard the story: her grandfather once ran a café in Saigon, and one day an American journalist named Rose walked in. Rose was a surprisingly old woman, covering the Vietnam War at a time when few American women were in the country. She and Lee’s grandfather became friends, and Rose left behind a small gold pin. . . Years later, Lee is an adult who was raised in the American Midwest and now has a Ph.D. in English Literature. She’s also jobless, so has returned to her mother’s house in the Chicago suburbs to work at the family’s Vietnamese café. Restless and wilting under family tensions, Lee one day remembers the gold pin left behind by the mysterious Rose. And Lee remembers that the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder was a journalist named Rose, who covered the Vietnam War in her old age. . . This novel is part literary mystery, part family drama; it’s a look at the second-generation Asian-American immigrant experience through a fresh and surprising l

Quote: Books as windows, sliding glass doors, as mirrors

I’ve heard this analogy many times: that books are both windows and mirrors. But I didn’t know the originator of this analogy until now.  “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.” --Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, 1990. From Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Class room, 6(3),