Archive for the ‘Fiction’ category

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

I’m amazed at what I’ve learned about my own religion. I was brought up Jewish and educated in all the rules and rituals. As I grew older, I moved away from many of these rituals. It’s interesting (and sometimes moving) how a single image of Jewish men waiting for the sunset to…

Hector and the Search for Happiness

It was November and when I left Osaka it was warm and sunny. As the train meandered up the mountains to the south, snow began to fall. By the time I reached Koyasan and realised that I was the only person getting off the train, deep snow…

Trading Dreams

I keep reading about all this angry sex, needy sex, suffocating sex, S/M sex (including self-flagellation), and victim sex. It’s not erotic, it’s not funny, and it’s not loving. It’s pathetic sex by a woman who feels victimized, but who does a lot of preying on others as well. I’m finding nothing I can relate to…

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Every time I read this book, it’s as if I’m reading it for the first time. I’m amazed at the way in which it works on so many levels. Each reading leads me to a new discovery. The first time I read it I was a student, and I was fascinated by the book’s compelling use of magic realism.

New Finnish Grammar

Is it more difficult to be physically alone, in an isolated place, or to be without a friend in a crowded city? In a world of almost total connectivity, we are never far from the Twitter-sphere. Although I’m not on Facebook, I am blessed with real friends and a large family.

American Psycho

I’m never sure if a chapter is going to drag me through the most grotesque murder scene I’ve ever read, or if it will simply put me in the middle of a conversation with a bunch of men who can’t decide where to make a dinner reservation. It’s unnervingly hypnotic, and…

God’s Autobio

Short stories, when well-written, are not forgettable because they are ineffective, or lack meaning, but because so many come at such a quick pace, wave after wave crashing upon you before you can draw another breath. Therefore, to anyone who might read this book, my advice is to take your time. Enjoy each tale as it comes, and resist the impulse to move immediately on to the next one. Appreciate each…

I Capture the Castle

I, like many people I’m sure, knew Smith only as the author of 101 Dalmatians. What a wonderful surprise to find in her the creator of a strikingly hilarious, sharp, and quick-witted bildungsroman unfolding so beautifully on these pages!

Silk

I find myself enjoying the rhythm of the words and the familiarity of the journey, as though I’m crossing the Urals with him, boarding a Dutch smuggler’s ship to the western coast of Japan. It’s what I imagine it’s like going to the end of the universe because in the 1800s Japan was…

The Age of Miracles

It may not be great literature but I’ll admit, there’s something about this book—something riveting. Every so often, I have to remind myself, ‘Wait. We still have twenty-four hour days. Earth didn’t really slow down. Days are bright and nights are dark and stepping outside the…

I Think I Love You

For me, the most compelling scene of part two so far is when Petra re-discovers David Cassidy. With nothing else to cling to, she rekindles her relationship with David. This is her safe place when life is uncertain. I understand that. Growing up, I used music and the fantasy of a teen idol to distract myself from my insecurities. By pouring myself into these obsessions, much like Petra, I discovered my own safe place.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Throughout the book, characters come and go, but their actions are markedly similar to those before them, as if the history of the Buendías could be discerned simply by watching José Arcadio on infinite loop.

Nights at the Circus

I’m enchanted with fiction that asks questions from the inside out. If fiction exists within the fiction, what do I believe or disbelieve? As a novice fiction writer, I marvel at how quickly and subtly Carter…

Deadeye Dick

What a start. I’ve never read a better description of life contained within such a sparse number of words. In three tiny paragraphs, Vonnegut captures all of its wonder and all of its pointlessness; the hellishness of being born into a world where countless billion human lives have already…