Author Archive

The Oracles

Grandma Patricia is a delightful bundle of contradictions. Along with being quite superstitious, she’s a devout Catholic and passes out condoms in her village. She is the grandmother I imagine I would have had, not just because of her liberal ideas on contraception, but…

Women’s Short Stories Volume 1

The storm, being a metaphor for repressed sexual desires, illustrates what can happen when women are faced with what society expects from them and what they really desire. Ah, the Victorian Age. How did we ever keep a lid on women’s sexual nature for so long? Warning, don’t play certain parts of this story in your car while you have the windows down. It took me several long seconds fumbling for the volume control while the person…

Wax

Wax has no interesting characters, even when they should be. Sylvia, the closeted lesbian, or maybe she’s bisexual, is the closest we get. Either way, you would think it would be worthy, even revealing, to…

A Visit From the Goon Squad

I get a giddy thrill when Mabuhay Gardens gets mentioned in the book. It brings back memories of a much younger me dragging a friend there before it closed to listen to music I was hearing on college radio. She didn’t know what she was in for. I didn’t either. That was a different San Francisco then. Pre-earthquake and pre-revitalization. More grit and less glitter. The hippies were long gone, although the addicts remained. Music was still on vinyl, and streaming music was stuff of science…

Spare Change

I’m having an unexpected reaction when the narrative’s perspective changes to that of an eleven-year-old boy. The voice, the diction and tone are completely believable. In other words, the young character feels authentic…

Reviewer Spotlight: Lisa Abellera

When I’m curious about writers I haven’t read yet, I prefer to read their short fiction first, even if their novels are more well-known. In a collection, it’s the disparity as well as the similarity in the stories that’s interesting. It can also tell you a lot about the writer’s skills, especially if it’s the first time they were published. You can see them stretching and…

The Faith of a Writer

According to Oates, I was born damned. In other words, I really don’t have a choice but to write. She asserts that artists struggle throughout their lives to attain redemption by way of creative expression…

When The Elephants Dance

The images of the war are disturbing, making the book a challenge to read at times.  Was the Philippines really like that during the Japanese occupation?  It saddens me that there are places in this world today, which are hardly any different, where genocide, rape, torture, and other grave human rights violations go on unhindered and…

Cowboys Are My Weakness

I purchased her two short story collections that night during her book reading, this being one of them. I chose to read this book first, because it was written early in her career, and published the year she completed her masters degree. As a recent graduate myself, I wanted to understand what it was about her writing that appealed so much to publishers that they would be willing to take a risk on a new writer. And who could resist…