Tag: stories

A review of What Shines from It by Sara Rauch

The theme of wounds in this collection relates principally to issues and disappointments regarding reproduction. Seven of the eleven stories in the collection have to do with infertility, wanted and unwanted pregnancies, life with small children and the hard decisions parents must make. Readers who have these concerns will find What Shines from It particularly meaningful.

A review of Bone Chalk by Jim Reese

Whether serious or silly, Reese’s prose reads like poetry. He says more in a paragraph than most authors achieve over several pages. The final chapters are the shortest and most personal vignettes featuring his wife, daughters and co-workers.  Reese finds the profound in everyday, parochial life in Bone Chalk.

A review of Great American Desert by Terese Svoboda

Svoboda’s characters contend with people who came before them: daughters with fathers, grandchildren with grandfathers, high-schoolers with college drop-outs. There is always someone there to blow the seeds into your face. Someone to obscure the vision. There is always something that manages to be not-there: pollution that is not believed in, menace that can be tied in conversation, meanness in the expectations of filial duty.

A review of This Far Isn’t Far Enough by Lynn Sloan

Sloan’s characters are from various walks of life: an art dealer, a sculptor, a soldier, a convenience store clerk, a female prize fighter and several disillusioned mothers. Bullying, dishonest superiors, exploitative friends, devoted friends, women who love too much, and the darker side of parent-child relationships are examined in this collection

A review of Her Mouth Looked Like a Cat’s Bum by Matthew Ward

You wouldn’t want these friends for dinner, but you might like a laugh at their expense. The wry sardonic humour that fills these pages isn’t entirely unpleasant, though it might be a little sour. Her Mouth Looked Like a Cat’s Bum is an original, interesting take on a world you don’t want to be living in; a funny (at times), racy, and disorientating descent into Hades.

A review of Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson

What is extraordinary about these stories is the intense fragility of the voice, which has an almost otherworldly texture sometimes. Or rather, no: not otherworldly. Instead, it is a voice that seems able to encompass both the next world and…

A review of The Tent by Margaret Atwood

This is an interesting collection, as much for the quality of Atwood’s writing, which, in itself, never falters, as for what she tries to say. But it never reaches full fruition. It needs more synthesis, more culling, and more development…

A review of New Beginnings

The clear bent is literary fiction, and that makes this a moving collection full of provocative and evocative work from some of the most well known and respected writers working today. This is a wonderful marketing idea, and one which…

A review of The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes

Minutely detailed, beautifully paced, and often wryly fun, each of the stories in The Lemon Table can be read on its own. Together however, the book becomes a rich and varied exploration through the pain, frustration, and vanities of aging,…