Sunday, February 28, 2010

"The Man in the Moon", by Suzanne Grabowski

This story has a surprising use of the word ‘whore’ and winds its way to joy. In the fog of the aftermath of a C-section childbirth, the narrator admits to finding the anesthesiologist ‘kind of sexy’. The light tone in the writing borders on humor and carries emotional weight with delicacy. Ending on a magical moment, the story offers emotional wholeness when the narrator dances with a name-less child at a wedding. It will touch your heart. Read it here in Gulf Coast.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Admit One," by Cynthia Hawkins

I enjoyed this funny, insider’s view of what is meant by the disparaging label, ‘nerd’. By adulthood, this narrator accepts the label with awareness of her thoughts and behavior, and how others will view her ‘trying not to make eye contact’. Meta-fiction runs through the story with reference to Quentin Tarantino movie-making: ‘It’s what he does with what he’s assembled that makes for an extraordinary end’. Read the story here in Monkey Bicycle and see how what you know about nerds is creatively assembled for an extraordinary end.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Morocco," by Anne Fox

Morocco is a place I have never been. Its very name conjures images of magic like those Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. But here Morocco is mentioned with specific yearning. Photographs can lie. We all know that. This narrator wrestles with it too, a mother who prefers to settle for the lie. “Father’s plans were too big for the camera’s eye.” The narrator’s poetic language and longing for Morocco is startling in how the images of that destination contrast with what is: “The cobweb imprisons a shadow on the ceiling, hanging like tatters on the edge of feeling.” To wish this narrator a bon voyage with a good map read the story here in Able Muse.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Film Noir," by Tracy Rubert

I confess I was attracted by this title. I love the movie genre. Too many favorites to name them all: Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, Big Sleep, Leave Her to Heaven. On the screen, I love the shadows, the tension and violence looming around every corner, suggested by a floating curtain, and teased with every curl of cigarette smoke. In this story, the writer creates a clever moment, a story in a story while watching a movie on video. She recognizes the actor. He’s her former lover. She toggles back and forth between the script in the film and her memories revisited. Alas, there’s no femme fatale in this story but there is a sense of being wronged and powerless beyond the plastic remote in her hand. Read it here in Big Bridge.