Saturday, July 01, 2017

June (fifth week) 2017 Reads

Still reading The Invented Part and I started The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas. Oops...maybe not a good idea to juggle two 500+ page books about writers and the writing process. But they are very different and I'm enjoying them both so I'll see if I can manage, if my wrists hold up.--Actually, it was a good idea. I finished the Wolas book and it was a complementary read (see below).

I also read a great novel by a Japanese author who lives in Europe and writes in both Japanese and German. This book is translated from German and is about a Vietnamese immigrant in France. Just the sort of international work I love.

Not much other reading this week except, of course, the short story challenge...
 “Deal Me In 2017!”

The Story: The Wild Pandas of Chincoteague by Gregory J. Wolos
A man, a boy, and an infant on a wintry vacation to the Outer Banks. They seem well prepared, but things go wrong. There's the odd landlady, the power outage, two dead batteries (car & phone) and the thing in the shed. They are left with stories to tell.

The Card: Two of Clubs: The story had a kind of Charlie Brown quality to it (though its protagonist is a bit more optimistic than Charlie) so I liked this card from a Peanuts deck.
This is how I picture the guy when he gets his phone back and calls his wife to tell her the story.

The story is in Post Road Magazine, an online journal that is new to me. I did a bit of browsing to see what else is there. I read another story -The Room Where Elizabeth Bishop Slept by Paola Peroni. In this one a translator is at a writer's retreat and isn't having a great time of it. I liked this story better than the panda one. (A telephone also has an important role in this story.)

Post Road is a print magazine published twice yearly by POST ROAD, Inc. in partnership with the Boston College Department of English. It features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short plays and monologues, and visual art. Only a part of its content is available online. I enjoyed browsing the current issue and the archives.

more online...

The Person You Are Trying To Reach Is Not Available by Andrea Chapela; translated from the Spanish by Andrea Chapela
A daughter deals with her mother's illness in a future time when when people can live very long (with replacement parts).

In the 26 June 2017 issue of Samovar "a quarterly magazine of and about translated speculative fiction. We publish fiction and poetry in their original language and in English translation. We showcase the work both of writers and also translators, who we have to thank for opening doors to new worlds.
Our definition of speculative fiction is broad, and includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and other genres that may not fit neatly into labels. We also publish reviews, essays and interviews."

The American Experience in 737 Novels  Susan Straight discusses and maps her experience reading American regional literature.

from my shelves...

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby  by
Fresán talks a lot about the loneliness of the author, Wolas protagonist just wants to be alone to get on with her writing. Beyond that one can't really compare the two, Fresán is a master, this is Wolas first novel.
Free advance review copy from publisher

The Naked Eye
by Yōko Tawada, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
Excellent novel about what is is to be an illegal immigrant. While in East Berlin to present an essay, a North Vietnamese girl is abducted and taken to West Germany. In an attempt to escape she boards what she thinks is a train to Moscow but ends up in Paris. She is befriended by several people and has a rough time since she cannot work or go to school as she has no visa. She becomes fascinated with the films of actress Catherine Deneuve and watches them over and over. She doesn't know French and often doesn't understand the films. Some of the best passages in the book are where she misinterprets the film and relates it to her own life. I loved this book.

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