Review: So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith

So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith (Grand central publishing 2020)

Reviewed by Lisa Slage Robinson                         

I’ve told everyone, I’ll tell you. I married Bridge because he’s thunder. That man right there is a pack of hungry wolves howlin’ at the moon.

Leesa Cross-Smith explores the complexities of modern love and rediscovers the bold frontier of feminine desire in the highly anticipated So We Can Glow (Grand Central Publishing, 2020) a collection of 42 short stories, flashes and meditations.

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Review: Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction by Megan Giddings

Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction by Megan Giddings (Aforementioned Productions, 2019)

Reviewed by Nora Poole

So often, a collection or anthology sets out to represent the best writing of a given form, genre, or year: Best American This, Best Collected That. Not so in the case of Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction (Aforementioned Productions, 2019), a collection of short short fiction by writers of color, edited by Megan Giddings.“I’m not really a person who believes in bests,” she explains in her editor’s note. “The point [of this collection] is to show off how many ways a very short story can be written[…], to show that there are many writers out there engaging with the incredible elasticity of flash fiction.”

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Review: There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights by Laura van den Berg

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Review: There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights by Laura van den Berg (Bull City Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I am a haphazard collector of fortunes. They live in my wallet and the corners of my coat pockets. Because I know that before long they’ll be lost to the washing machine or a damp grocery store aisle, I sometimes take their pictures. The other day I found one that had floated from a box in the closet and landed on the floor by my desk; it said “Within the month, as you tidy your room, you will find your lost item.” Continue reading

Review: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

51CKN9MHYFL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I’ll begin by saying what I want: a world where we can all recognize that women are the true and most honorable proprietors of horror writing.

I’ll begin this way because I think Carmen Maria Machado proves it. In order for horror to be truly horrifying, it has to be earned. It has to dig into the sensitive skin under our fingernails, on our bellies, the places where we store our most reasonable and our most plausible fears. The ones that, when touched, send out a sharp alarm in our brains, and we realize we’ve been waiting for this moment to come. Continue reading

Review: Painting Their Portraits in Winter by Myriam Gurba

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Painting Their Portraits in Winter by Myriam Gurba (Manic D Press, 2015)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

Myriam Gurba’s stories are short, but her titles are long – her collection’s full title, How Some Abuelitas Keep Their Chicana Granddaughters Still White Painting Their Portraits in Winter, gets its name from the first story in her collection, in which a Mexican grandmother tells her granddaughters terrifying fairy tales about cannibalistic tamale makers and German Shepherds from hell. This story, and all of the stories in Gurba’s collection, strike a sometimes jarring balance between the modern and the ancient, tradition and reality. The book is simultaneously an ode to an older generation and a reinvigoration of old tales through a modern voice, and the juxtaposition of those elements give the collection a self-reflective edge. Continue reading