Award-winning author Emma Donoghue sat down with XTRA, a Canadian channel dedicated to keeping viewers up-to-date on the latest LGBT news, to discuss how living as a lesbian in Ireland colored her perception of stepping over social “lines in the sand” and how her experience helped color the stories in Astray.
Donoghue also mentions that during a Twitter conversation with her fans, she thought it was odd that no one had read her hit novel Room under the lens of queer theory. After all, the mother and child in the story are seen as “outsiders,” much as many gays and lesbians are seen as “Other.” So while most readers don’t view The Room as a queer story, Donoghue says that it can definitely be read that way.
For readers who love learning about how an author’s life experiences can weave into the lifeblood of a story, this interview sheds a fascinating light on the process.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 27th, 2014||No Comments »|
Elizabeth McCracken’s exquisite collection of short stories explores the often-fragile bond between love and loneliness. In each short story, McCracken meshes heartache with strange moments of joy that intermingle to form a delightful read. Whether her characters have random conversations with strange children or encounter a parrot that can speak in a laughably bad French accent, each story reminds you just how wonderful and mysterious life can be and allows us to be thankful that we are alive to experience it.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 16th, 2014||No Comments »|
Margaret Earley Whitt’s Short Stories of the Civil Rights Movement: An Anthology allows readers to hear the voices of nameless, ordinary citizens who fought for civil rights in the ‘50s, ’60s, and ‘70s. Each of the 20 short stories focus on a particular moment in history, some public and some private. These sections include: School Desegregation (1954-on), Sit-Ins (1960s on), Marches and Demonstrations (1963 and onward), and Acts of Violence. Some of the tales were written during the ‘50s and ‘60s and some were written after the fact.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 9th, 2014||No Comments »|
The power of human connections, including both its beauty and fragility, are explored to the very depths in a new short story collection titled Sympathetic People by Donna Baier Stein. Each of the thirteen stories revolve around male and female characters as they struggle to find happiness and meaning in their lives after experiencing loss and tragedy.
The story “Hindsight” follows a hippie-ish young woman named Jessie as she makes a brash decision that later shatters to pieces when her life goes wildly off-track. There’s also “The Secrets of Snakes,” a story that looks at how early ruptures in a marriage can make a wife desperate to do anything she can to stop it, even when she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her son’s pet racer.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Whether you’re single or attached, Flirts! Five Romantic Short Stories by Lisa Scott is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Scott, who is the author of the Willowdale Romance series, entertains readers with five contemporary short stories that revolve around love. While each story can be read as a stand-alone, all five stories do eventually connect in the end.
The Hot Girl’s Friend follows Jane, a woman who’s tired of watching her friend Miranda fend off men while never getting a happy ending of her own. After griping with a bartender named Brady who tries to set her up with a few of his friends, Jane develops feelings for Brady (Editor’s Note: Um, spoiler alert?) and finally finds love.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, February 4th, 2014||No Comments »|
Sadly, thanks to the pervasive negative stereotypes in the media, many people have misconceptions about people who are of Native American descent. However, thanks to authors such as Leslie Marmon Silko, those stereotypes are slowly but surely fading away.
Silko was born in 1948 in Albuquerque, New Mexico of Laguna Pueblo, Mexican, and Anglo-American descent. She has been hailed as one of the key figures in the Native American Renaissance and proudly received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant back in 1981.
She has written works such as Ceremony, which follows a World War II veteran of mixed heritage as he returns home and finds healing through his tribe’s past. Ceremony mixes history with myths of the Pueblo tribe for a novel that is both enduring and haunting to its readers. Silko is also the author of Garden in the Dunes, which looks at how many Native American traditions were on the verge of extinction thanks to the encroaching white culture, and The Turquoise Ledge, which is a memoir that revolves around her own family history and the observations of the natural world of the desert landscapes.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Saturday, January 25th, 2014||No Comments »|