This is a stunning collection of stories, the first few being quite slow and lyrical with the last three standing out as simply bizarre but so, so good. It's a remarkable exploration of xenophobia, feminism, violence, and social hierarchies that will make you uncomfortable, emotional, and simply stunned--especially "Dead Men Don't Rape," "Invocation," and "Instructions for the Eye." I've never read anything quite like this with a gorgeous translation to match.
This was a stellar collection! The very first story pulls you right in and I couldn't stop reading more. Every story felt like it they could be full blown novels at some point.
There is also this frantic and furious energy in many of the stories which IMO is very hard to pull off in short stories. This writer achieved something great here.
One last note: Mavis and Estelle have my whole heart <3
Kirby offers up some dark, giddy feminism that really hit the spot for me during this time of BS. I had no idea what was happening when I started the first story, then I did, and I was like 'Yeeees!'. I live for Cassandra, watching the destruction of her temples with a smirk on her face, remembering that these men are barefaced cowards.
"...men who think her mad driving her to madness. She wishes she could move far away to an islan and own a bird."
These are amazingly bizarre, dream-like and surreal stories that surprise the reader not in their bizarre nature, but by slowly revealing themselves to be deeply grounded and beautifully heart-felt. Like the most potent of dreams, they are nonsensically unexplainable yet impossible to forget.
Chelsea Bieker can tell you exactly who a character is without ever putting it on the page. She expertly allows the reader to learn through first person perspective. The way her characters move through the world will show you who they are without needless exposition. The theme of this collection is "seeking or sabotaging love" but this author will undoubtedly steal your heart with her profound understanding of human behavior.
Palahniuk loves to tell the story of listeners fainting during live readings from this collection. While the imagery throughout the stories is intense, what's more impressive is the flawless structure delivered over and over again. While this book may look like it belongs in the horror section, it is actually a prime example of transgressive fiction at its best. It is crafted with expert pacing and subject matter that will leave you truly, Haunted.
I was riding a subway when I started this collection. The first story was so incredible I completely missed my stop and didn't even care. Brillant speculative fiction truly doesn't get any better than this. With themes such as systemic racism, it will hurt to process the words of this mirror turned on society, but you will never stop thinking about the important messages between these pages.
Upon finishing this book I wept inconsolably. Marra has woven together this collection of short stories into a tender and heart-wrenching story that has an irrevocably haunting (in the best way) impact on me.
I read an Electric Literature interview with the author and immediately had to pick up this book of short stories. Fair warning: do not read the back cover if you dislike spoilers. I think its the best to approach these tales of loneliness and connection without knowing too much beforehand. Choi writes so softly that you may miss her quiet inclusion of vital (and often grave) context. I found myself returning to concise sentences that retexturize entire stories wondering how I almost read over them. I didn't know this was the book I needed to read until I read it.
I fell in love with this book upon reading its opening paragraph. Yuknavitch explores emotional realities via her deft use of surrealism, splaying chracters with unobtrusive metaphors that landed in the base of my stomach. A book that you will want to read cherishingly.