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Monthly Archive for September, 2012

New Rules

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I pictured a mother whale, exhausted from labor, pushing her calf up to the skin of the water.  The miracle of breath in the face of predation, life in the wake of whaling ships.   Bergman’s piece “Yesterday’s Whales” reaches right to the heart of the reader, by placing them in as difficult of a […]

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  Bergman’s story, “Yesterday’s Whales”, took me through an emotional roller coaster.  The narrator, Lauren, struggles to ‘practice what she preaches’.  Once she discovers she is pregnant, she no longer believes in the end of human existence.  Having a child is something that is natural to women.  It isn’t natural to be miserable and await […]

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In Megan Mayhew Bergman’s “Yesterday’s Whales”, the opening scene is of the narrator, Lauren, and her boyfriend, Malachi, arguing about the fact that she is five weeks pregnant. Malachi wants humans to stop reproducing and die off, so that nature can reclaim the earth. Bergman uses this ironic situation to stress all of the complexities, […]

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Butler’s story “Crickets” is brief, but then, that’s a good thing. The concept he uses this time is an overtly familiar one: the children of immigrant parents are disappointing because they shed elements of their cultural heritage in order to be more, usually, American. I have read quite a few stories like this in Spanish […]

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Butler, “Crickets”

  I can really hear the voice in this story. Unlike the last story that we read, “Fairy Tale,” the education level of the character is higher. The difference in the way the sentences are structured are a running theme in Butler’s stories. He uses long sentences with many commas. This pattern allows for him […]

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“We’re on TV in the Universe”

Overall, Vaughn’s story, “We’re on TV in the Universe” struck me as mildly humorous and slightly unconventional. I personally like her decision to use the chicken as a motif throughout the story, resonating with the decisions of other authors as well, such as Bergman’s “Birds of a Lesser Paradise,” both authors contributing to the universal […]

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Hope

I hated myself then, for letting a stranger into our life, for having to trust this stranger to save my father.  Smith sprinted into the woods.  Betsy hesitated, then followed him.”   In Bergman’s, “Birds of a Lesser Paradise,”  the reader comes to know a young woman who has come to know only a small […]

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The phrase that is the title of Elizabeth McCracken’s story, “Some have entertained angels, unaware”, sounds grand and promising. By the time the dad says it on page 52, it sounds like an excuse. After not having seen his children for years, after leaving them in a house full of drifters, he tells them that […]

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I felt like Vaughn did a fantastic job of writing both with a simplistic approach to story-line and plot and also a flair for the unusual and a good sense of humor. Beyond developing a plot for my stories, I always find it very difficult to decide the path that my characters will take in order to […]

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