Saturday, May 26, 2012

"The Speed of Sound," by Elizabeth Gonzalez

Few people mention star gazing these days. Most of us live in urban areas where the ambient light robs us of an otherwise magical moment pondering the omniscient patterns that change with the Earth’s rotation.  This story turns our gaze toward the meaning of those lights of incomprehensible distance. The tendency toward vertigo is delivered with an intriguing line: “on a clear night, the sky seemed so vast and so close overhead it was disorienting, as if you could fall up.”  The physics of sound and light are unlike everyday life that “tumbled along ... and traveled only one path, and petered out.”  This story has a wonderful shape that converges the mysteries and realities of physics and the feeling of loss. Read it here in Hunger Mountain.

Monday, May 7, 2012

"Chaesa," by John Patrick Bishop

On the one year anniversary of her father’s death, a twelve year old girl and her family stay in the Communist occupied city of Seoul.  The details are intriguing and the story achieves the tone of a folk tale when the food prepared by her mother seems to expand to fill the needs of a village. The language is responsible for this air of mystery and the sense of urgency to flee.  But in truth the story reads as if it is part of a novel, there are so many connections and questions too large for a short story, in addition to the omniscient voice.  Nevertheless this is an intriguing story, here at Kenyon Review Online.